When you fall for someone’s personality, everything about them becomes beautiful – HaliPawz

dogs, flowers, relationships

When you fall for someone’s personality Everything about them becomes beautiful

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Grass cutting dilemma over a holiday weekend – HaliPawz

My grass got too high.  It’s no one’s fault but my own.  I can make a bunch of excuses, but at the end of the day, that’s all they are, excuses.  It is the end of May and I had only partially cut my lawn in Missouri….where the rain had been flowing down for months now!  This leads me to spending my holiday weekend attempting to cut the grass….I say attempting because, it still isn’t done.

Let’s go back a few weeks.

I realized my grass was getting embarrassingly high.  I thought about getting someone to come in and cut it the first time because of how high it was, but I just didn’t want to spend the money.  Let’s face it, I’m still not where I want to be financially from doing the freelance writing, so I try to save every penny I can.  I’m one of the fortunate ones who lives in the city but still has a nice size yard.  When it comes to the dogs, it’s great, when it comes to cutting, not so great.   I begin to cut it and it’s still a little too damp from the rain we had overnight so the cutting is taking forever.  I decide to pause on the cutting and get out the weed eater to go around the house.  I don’t know why, but I also thought I could go back and forth like a machete and trip some of the high grass down.  I’m sure my neighbors were having a nice laugh at me!

Sometimes I swear I have adult ADHD because I jump around a lot when it comes to projects like this.  I always say I can justify it with a thought, but at the end of the day, I just can’t do the monotony of doing the same thing for hours.  It seems like writing is the only thing I can do for long periods without a problem.  Anyway…..I go back to cutting.  All of a sudden, out of no where, I see something wet looking and small fly out of the grass and away from the mower!  I stop the mower instantly and look down, there are three baby bunnies!  One flew into the tall grass, one took off down the slope of my yard, and one walked about six inches from where it came out of and froze.  Of course, I was convinced I had killed one; the one that had taken off and looked a little damp!  Looking around, I found their nest and then wondered, now what do I do.  I can’t see the other two anywhere, the grass is way too high, and the little frozen one is just standing still, even when I get close!

I go and sit on my porch and just stare at the baby bunny.  I send out a tweet about finding them.  I text my two animal lover friends to get some advice.  I google “who to contact when you find a baby bunny” and discover we have a nature center here in Kansas City that will help with things like this.  I call them.  No answer so I leave a message.  I’m still sitting on the porch.  Of course, I resolve to never let my grass get this high again because I don’t want to be a baby bunny killer.

Yes, I have since learned the nests are usually far enough into the ground I can

still cut my grass and cause them no harm…..but at the time, I didn’t realize it.

I grab the weed trimmer again and decide to do some more areas well away from where any baby bunnies might be.  Then it goes through my head, what if there are more and I won’t be able to see them while I’m cutting the grass?  Maybe I shouldn’t cut my grass until they are all gone?  How long will that be?  I stop trimming and sit on the porch again, staring at the frozen baby bunny.

I get up to go look to see if I can find the missing two, which I can’t.  One of my neighbors must have had enough of wondering what I was doing because he ventured over to me to ask.  We discussed the baby bunnies but I had the distinct impression he wouldn’t be as concerned as I was, or he just thinks I’m a little crazy! Either way, he walked away again without much advice.

My phone rings, It was Lakeside Nature Center calling me back.  She told me the mother rabbit will return around sundown, if I could find the babies and try to put them back in the nest, the mother would take care of them.  She then explained the “frozen” one was showing a tactic “If I don’t move, you can’t see me” to protect itself.  I felt better.  I had no clue where the other two were, but I was going to do my best to help these little guys out.  Needless to say, no more grass cutting was to be done that day.

I went inside for a little while, I was going to grab a yardstick to help me move the grass around so I could look for the wandering babies.  I ended up taking a phone call and got side tracked.  By the time I came back outside, I was overjoyed to see momma rabbit right by the frozen baby bunny and another one scamper into the grass as soon as I started down the porch.

Momma rabbit returns for her babies

 As you can see from the picture, the grass is quite high and stayed high for a while because, what I didn’t mention, is I was heading out-of-town the next day!

I was gone for a week and when I returned, it was easy to see the rain had not helped my grass growing dilemma.  My mom came back with me from Michigan so I had to do something about this situation soon.  She walks with a walker, so the high grass would be a problem for her since she has to walk through the grass to get to my porch.  I had built her a nice ramp last year to get up my steps, but she still had to walk up a slight hill on the grass so she didn’t need the problem of the high grass to go with it. It is clear my yard is not ADA friendly!  LOL

I grabbed my mower and cut a few paths for my mom to walk easier.  I cut about half of my front yard and then I saw a momma rabbit in a whole new area of the front yard.  I thought I saw a baby running away.  I decided to not cut in that area.  Maybe it was an excuse, but I cut all around it.  Then it started to rain.  Time to put the mower away again.

Rain came and went over the next few days and the grass kept getting higher.  The back yard was scary at this point.  Poor Zipper, my Jack Russel, had areas where the grass what much higher than him.  Because the dogs play out there all the time, some of the grass was trampled down, but it was still thick and high.  I had cut about two or three strips off to the side when I had cut the front yard and even that was getting high again.

Enough was enough, the grass had to be cut!  Who knew what was lurking in the grass, insects, rodents, it was time to conquer it so Monday, Memorial Day, I was out there.  It had rained earlier in the morning, so I knew it was going to be rough, but it was climbing to 80 degrees for the day, so the grass had to be drying somewhat.  I started in the back yard and began to cut.  I started in the area I had already cut, figured it would be easier and it was in the sun, so it would dryer.  As soon as I hit the higher grass, I knew I was in trouble.  The lawn mower would continually stop because of the high, thick grass.  I would have to back it up out of the high grass to restart it.  I would cut an area for a bit, then see a really high area and just cut across the yard to break it up.  My thinking was, if I broke it up into little pieces, it would be easier on the mower to go from high, then low, then high again.  In reality, I’m sure it was some more of my ADHD.  I’m so jealous of those who can go back and forth on their lawn in nice, neat rows, back and forth, so their yard looks great.  My dad would do that.  He would cut it one way one week, then another way the other.  Sometimes back and forth, sometimes on an angle.  My yard is cut in every direction, no rhyme or reason.

There were times I had to raise the mowers front wheels off the ground, go over a patch, then let the blades come down on it.  I had enough sense to lock the dogs in the house, so I wouldn’t have to be worried about them getting in the way or getting hurt.  Sadly, there were some loss of toys though.  I couldn’t see them, one was a stuffed animal, all of a sudden I saw the stuffing some flying out from around the mower!  Made me happy the dogs were inside, I felt it was safer.

I was dripping in sweat, the mower was stopping about ever 90 – 120 seconds.  I reached one part of my lawn where the grass was so thick and so wet at the bottom that I could only get about a foot or two and it would stall.  I was exhausted and my back was killing me from constantly pulling the cord on the mower.  I can usually cut my back yard with one full tank of gas.  I had filled it twice already.  About 4:30 pm, I had been at it over two and a half hours, not counting two fifteen minute water / rest breaks and my mower was now stalling every foot of grass until it was out of gas yet again.  I stopped.  I was out of gas in my gas can and decided I had enough.  Looking around at the patchy cutting I saw I still had about 1/4 of my back yard to cut and still tackle my front yard.  I was done for the day.

So, as I type this, I realize I have to run to the gas station to get more gas and get out there to finish my yard at some point today.  The grass WILL NOT WIN!  I guess the one good thing is, I had a nice workout!

Moral of the story, don’t let your grass get too high.  Just like so many things, if you ignore it, it will end up costing you more in the long run….in this case, more time, more energy, and more backache!

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Charlie Charlie Challenge, Love it, hate it, believe it or not, the explanation can be based on beliefs – HaliPawz

So, this Charlie Charlie Challenge is the newest fad hitting all of social media.  If you haven’t heard about it, here’s the premise….

You take a piece of paper and draw two opposite lines on it, making a cross.  You put the word “yes” in the top left corner and the bottom right corner.  You then put the word “no” in the top right corner and the bottom left corner.

You place two pencils one on top of the other in a cross.

The rules are, supposedly Charlie is a polite demon and you have to ask him if you can play the game, so you say “Charlie Charlie, can we play?” and you wait until the pencils move to say yes or no.  If the pencil points to yes, you can continue asking him questions, if it points to no, you cannot or you have to ask again.  Then, when you are done, you have to ask Charlie if you can stop playing, so you say, “Charlie, Charlie, can we stop?” and again, wait until the pencil says yes or no.  If you don’t ask if you can stop, then bad or strange things can happen following.

Now, let’s break this down a little bit…..

Charlie is supposedly a Mexican demon who insists on politeness.  Since he’s Mexican, why Charlie?  Wouldn’t it be Carlos, Carlos and then ask in Spanish?  Apparently this demon is bi-lingual!

Christians have a problem with it because they liken it to the Ouija board, which Christians feel is a tool used to converse with demons.  Of course, scientists have proved more than once why, or how, the Ouija board moves.  Since a lot of Scientists and Christians seem to want to have a battle like the Hatfields and the McCoys, it isn’t likely everyone will accept each other’s thoughts on it.  When I was a teenage, before I understood how it worked, I was a little creeped out by the Ouija board, so I tended to stay away from it.  Now, as an adult, I would chalk it up with the same as psychics, fortune tellers, etc, so I wouldn’t even think about using it to make a decision.

Now, those crazy scientists have worked to debunk the Charlie Charlie Challenge as well.  They talk about gravity and the stability of the pencils on top of each other.  Even if you have a steady hand and are able to get the pencils to balance on top of each other, the breath you expel to say “Charlie Charlie can we play” is enough to upset the perfect balance and send the top pencil moving, with the hexagon or round shape of the two, it only makes sense that it spins on an angle and then ends up in one of the “yes” or “no” quadrants.

pencil cross pencils

Let’s talk about the yes or no answers.  Since you are asking a DEMON life questions, do you expect him to answer you in a manner that is benefiting to you or to him?  Wouldn’t he give you bad advice, being a demon and all? I’m not sure I would want to trust his answers.

Now the question of why strange or bad things happen if you forget to ask Charlie if you can stop playing?  This is pretty simple.  If you have an open enough mind to believe you could actually talk to a demon to answer your questions, then it makes sense that you will be more sensitive to things happening.  In any day to day, things happen.  If your senses are already heightened to expect something bad or strange, you will accept it as such when things happen.

In the end, you can choose to believe it or be afraid of it.  Teenagers are going to do it.  If it really bothers you to the point you feel it is dangerous, talk to your child about it, but in reality, it’s a fad, and like most fads, it will go away in time.

A little tidbit about this post….as I was doing the research on it, many of the pages I kept trying to open or opened, would either not open or would just keep resetting…..could it be Charlie having a problem with me typing this??? Hmm

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Hertz Rental Car Review: Toyota Corolla 2013 – HaliPawz

It was time again to hit the road to Michigan.  I had decided the dogs would go with me so I knew I was going to drive.  Traveling with them has its own challenges, but since I was going to be gone for a week and I would be staying at homes that are dog friendly, it was an easy decision.

I went online to Hertz.com to rent my car.  I almost always rent from a Hertz Local Edition location because it always seems to be the cheapest way to rent a car for a week.  Unless you are traveling in by plane or train, I highly recommend using the local edition option from car rentals.   I have found the best discount so far seems to be the Delta Airlines / Hertz partnership agreement discounts.  Every now and then, the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards discount wins, but it is very rare.  You can access the codes for the Delta / Hertz agreement here, but then it only lets you search for the Hertz airline locations.  I take the codes and input them into the Hertz.com site instead.  To make it easier for the readers, I will just put the codes here:

Hertz Rent a Car Delta Airline Discount Codes

Discount/CDP/Club Code: 165385      

Promotional Coupon (PC): 197536

I don’t know if these codes change periodically or not, so if they don’t work, you may want to click the above link and see if they are different.

This trip was a little different because I was renting one way.  Hertz has a good one way program because they don’t charge you any more to drop off at another location and they have unlimited miles.  I was going to be switching to driving my mom’s van when I arrived in Michigan because she was going to be returning to Missouri with me for a few weeks.  Since she walks with a walker and has a motorized scooter, driving her van makes more sense.  It is a thirteen hour drive and I was only keeping the rental car for 24 hours.

I rented a Toyota Corolla (or similar).  I HATE spending unnecessary money for a big car when a medium size car works just as well.  I have learned the hard way NOT to go smaller than mid size, because you may end up cramped, uncomfortable, and possible without cruise control.  Can you imagine a thirteen hour drive without cruise control round trip?!?  Never again, so I always go mid size or larger!

I won’t go into too much detail about picking up the car because there were a few complications which aren’t typical of a local edition, but needless to say, I had my car and was headed back to the house to load it up after 30 minutes.

I ended up with a  2013 Gray Toyota Corolla with manual seats, power windows, and Bluetooth Hands-free system

I placed a full size seat protector across the back to minimize the dog hair and got started loading the car.

The first thing I want to point out is the large trunk space.  I was so please with how much space I had to load everything.  I am not the best packer when it comes to road trips, I tend to take too much stuff and I’m not very organized about it.  I had a large suitcase, a small suitcase, a bag with the dog’s stuff, two baby gates, a box of shoes, my laptop bag, and about two or three other miscellaneous bags with stuff in it. I also picked up a 28 pound bag of Earthborn Wellness Dog food, I figured Zipper could eat the same food as Bella for a week so I didn’t have to travel with two types of food.

I laid a dry cleaners bag of clothes over everything in the trunk and still could have placed a couple more small items if it was needed.

We hit the road.

Bella was not happy with the back seat.  I knew it was a little smaller back there than she was used to, especially with Zipper being back there as well.  I also had a cooler of water on the floor for them to drink out of.   Judging from the size of the cooler, it appeared there wasn’t  a lot of leg room, but in fairness, I didn’t sit in the back, so I don’t want to comment as a definite.

Zipper asleep on the floor. He is 18 pounds. Gives you an idea of leg room with seats all the way back

Bella stretched out in the backseat of the rental

My Road Warrior Bella in the Backseat

As a larger woman myself, I have to say the Toyota Corolla was comfortable for the most part throughout the trip.  I hated how low the seat was to the ground, but since I’m used to an Escape. I think any car is lower to the ground than I would prefer.  I am 5’10” and felt I hit my head too many times getting in and out of the car.  Once seated, I had enough leg room to be OK, I wouldn’t say it was comfortable.  For a long drive, I wish the center armrest was just a little higher.  There really was no place to rest my arm while I was driving.  Both the door and the center armrest was low.  I couldn’t imagine having power seats and raising the seat a little, I wouldn’t be able to even touch the armrest.

The head rest was just the opposite.  It was designed GREAT!  It was comfortable.  So rare in most vehicles, but I actually used it off and on throughout the drive.

Overall, the car handled nicely.  The cruise control maintained speeds even going up and down hills without feeling like it was dragging or playing catch up.  The car didn’t swerve too much, even with windier conditions, with the exception of going over a large, high bridge.  I was surprised by how much it moved.  With the size of the vehicle, as loaded down as we were, and with the weight of me and the dogs, I didn’t expect that much movement.  I would not want to drive over a high bridge during stronger winds with it!

As the sun began to set and I turned the lights on, I liked how comfortable on the eyes the interior lighting was.  It was the light red / orange you see in some vehicles, but it was laid out nicely.  I could still see everything without any strain or blurring  on the eyes.

I was very impressed with the gas mileage.  I could go about 350 miles on a tank of gas (it would say 362 miles when I filled it) and when I stopped to fill it, it only took about 10 gallons.  I averaged about 30-31 mpg.  When cost is a factor, it is nice to spend less for gas for the trip.

Some other nice features on the car are:

The cup-holders were spaced out nicely so two large cups could fit in them without hitting one when taking the other out.

There is a key holder on a wire so you can place a key chain there without  losing it.

There is a USB power unit within close proximity to the driver / the steering wheel so you can plug your phone in to charge really easily in addition to the usual power source located further down.

Everything was set up to be very driver friendly and within a comfortable reach.  There were audio controls on the steering wheel so you didn’t have to take your eyes off the road to make an adjustment.

All of these are great, but the feature I have to give the highest rating to is the hands free Bluetooth audio system!  I normally dislike these because I feel like they are garbled and a pain for the person you are talking to.  I normally hate talking to someone who is on one.  I decided to set it up to my phone anyway and give it a chance.  Am I glad I did! The sound quality was wonderful!  I talked to my mom for about twenty minutes and she had no problem hearing me.  Since she uses hearing aids, sometimes she does but she heard me clearly.  I heard her clearly.  Everyone I talked to (and I talk on the phone a lot when driving that far) could hear me fine with one exception.  I talked to one friend and I kept getting horrible feedback but I think it was his hand-free system, not mine because the minute he canceled his, everything was fine.  The only problem I found I would have is it sometimes wouldn’t answer with the system when I hit answer on the phone but it could have been my phone or the way I was answering.  I didn’t really have any time to play with it to see if other ways worked better.  I have to say it was probably the nicest drive I have ever had as far are telephone communication goes and for me, it made every other complaint I had obsolete because talking on the phone helps pass the time and makes the 13 hour drive go by a lot faster!

Saving money, easy drive, great hands-free audio system…..the positives outweighed the negative with this rental car!

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What is the real anger behind the Josh Duggar Story? Parent Cover Up? Mistakes as a teen? Just wanting to be hateful? – HaliPawz

The Duggar Family of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting have been on television for over ten years now.  People love them or hate them.  Now the latest news is Josh Duggar was guilty of child molestation when he was a child himself.  I read quite a few of the articles and some of the “hate” articles that are quick to follow whenever anyone in the limelight gets caught doing something guilty.

Now, the latest news is that TLC has removed the show from their schedule.  While it is no surprise because we live in a society filled with knee jerk reactions, it still disappoints me.  Why does it come down to everyone trying to please everyone.  It isn’t possible!

I want to break down some of the stuff I found out about regarding this story and give my take on it.

Josh Duggar was 14 when all of this happened.  14 twelve years ago is not the same as 14 year olds today.  According to the stories, some of his sisters and others were affected.  Other stories say it was just his sisters.  Then another story says it happened more than during just one time and affected Jim Holt’s run for the senate.  So many different stories…..you have to wonder WHAT is the truth and what is fabricated to make for a better story.  The story is that he fondled (not raped) the girls while they were sleeping.  Does this make him a child molester or a curious, horny teenager who took advantage of the situation around him and explored with the girls around him.  Yes, it is horrible that it was his sisters along with others, I won’t deny that, but again, he was 14.  He recognized it was wrong and he admitted it to his parents when asked.  He didn’t lie, he didn’t deny it.  At 14, to recognize he had done something horrible and to want to take ownership of it says a lot.

His parents, being parents, did what they thought was best to help their son.  Did they handle it correctly?  Honestly, who are we to say yes or no?  What parent doesn’t go above and beyond to help a child in trouble?  Did they choose protecting their son over protecting their daughters?  No one knows.  There has been speculations that they stuck to the teaching where women are submissive so they had to just accept his apology, no matter what.  Perhaps that type of teaching doesn’t work for everyone, but it does work for some.  Who are we to question whether they forgave him because of their teachings or they forgave him because he openly asked for their forgiveness.  When someone apologizes SINCERELY, each person has the right to accept it or not.  It isn’t our place to speculate WHY they accepted it.  I’m sure many readers would admit a family member has done something wrong to another family member on one occasion or another and had to apologize.

I personally know women who are HAPPY to be in a submissive relationship and it isn’t based on religion, it is based on choice.  They are happy, healthy, and do not feel abused.  Take the word “Religion” out of it and no one seems to have a problem with it or seem to even realize it is happening, but the minute you put the “religion” label on it, then people add hate to it.  I have my own thoughts on organized religion but it doesn’t mean I automatically think everyone is wrong because their beliefs are not necessarily the same as mine.

They took Josh to a state trooper who gave him a “stern talking to” and sent him on his way.  While I agree this may seem strange, for anyone who is familiar with Arkansas, and how much it has changed over the last 15 years, you really wouldn’t be surprised. Add to the fact the state trooper Josh was taken to is now in jail himself for child pornography isn’t the Duggar’s fault!  I can not believe they would be ok with someone who was into child pornography.  It is just another example of how everything handled in this case may not have been the best way, but not due to the Duggar’s actions.

The parents discussed it with their church elders who gave them advice.  Did they give them poor advice?  Again, I’m not saying it is right or wrong, but the parents WENT and sought advice and then followed the advice.  Who isn’t guilty of going to someone we trust for advice and was given bad advice, yet we started to follow it or DID follow it.  They sought advice from those they thought would be helpful to them.  Clearly they didn’t hide this, it seems, by all counts, to be pretty common knowledge to those in their circle.  That doesn’t sound like parents who are trying to sweep it under the rug and make it disappear.  Did they want it out and discussed all the time?  Of course not!  Who would want a family’s dark moments discussed over and over again?  NO ONE!

I see posts who complain about Josh Duggar being around his three children and everyone should be worried.  Are you kidding me?  He isn’t a pedophile!!!  He didn’t go after pre-pubescent girls when he was 14.  It was girls his age.  It is that kind of thinking that truly brings harm to others.  That type of thinking who gets the emotionally minded fired up to take dangerous actions because they can not think for themselves and just act on emotions.

One last thing I read that made me laugh is that Mama June of Honey Boo Boo threatened to sue TLC if they didn’t cancel 19 Kids and Counting because their show was canceled……ummmmm how about the difference is one was a CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTER….that means the adult sought out children.  Not QUITE the same thing!  Come on, we are such a litigious country.

Do I think the Duggar family is perfect?  No, of course not.  What family is?  Do I believe they are above being held responsible for their actions?  No, of course not.  I don’t agree with their beliefs towards gay marriages and I personally believe every Christian would be accepting of gay marriages if they looked at it like I wrote here……but at the end of the day, whether I agree with them or not, I don’t believe they deserve the HATEFUL comments towards them, in this latest situation or in any of the others.

TLC shouldn’t pull the show in a knee jerk reaction.  If their followers CHOOSE to not watch because of this, then TLC can not bring them on for another season, but it should be left to the ratings, not to the haters.

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Texas Roadhouse Restaurant; Port Huron, MI – HaliPawz

After taking Bella and Zipper to the beach, I decided it was time to get something to eat. Mom had been eating crackers, so I took that as a sign she was getting hungry.  We had to stop at Wal-Mart for a few things so I wanted to stay in the north end.  Since we had the dogs, we had to eat, then go grocery shopping.  Trying to do it in reverse would be pointless, the dogs would destroy everything.    Cheap Charlie’s had disappointed me the last couple of times so it was time to find another go to when I am home visiting.  I am sure I will give them another chance because I love their CC sticks.  I knew the last time I was home, they were building a Texas Roadhouse, but my mom didn’t think it was open yet.  I decided to drive by to check it out anyway.  The number of cars indicated they were open, and appeared to be pretty busy. We pulled in and found a handicapped location right in front of the door.  Because my mom walks with a walker, it is always easier when we can get close to the door.  After getting the dogs settled, we headed in to try Port Huron’s newest restaurant; Texas Roadhouse.

Once in, there was a small amount of people sitting around waiting for a table.  I asked how long and was told 5-15 minutes.  Not bad, considering the number of people.  I sometimes forget about the difference between Port Huron and Kansas City in regards to the number of people!  We ended up waiting about 15 minutes, which isn’t bad.  We started to be seated in about ten minutes, but they noticed mom had a walker so they asked me if I wanted to wait a few more minutes for a table that would be better for her.  She wouldn’t have to walk as far and they thought it would be easier for her to sit at.  I truly appreciate when businesses give thought like that to the situation!  I thanked them and said we would gladly wait a few more minute.

You could tell it was relatively new, everything still had that nice, “polished” look about it.  The staff all seemed to be working efficiently.  I asked the one seating us when they had opened and she said April 6th.  For only being open about a month, they seemed to be doing well.

The music was a little loud, even by Texas Roadhouse standards.  I have been in a few and I don’t remember it being difficult to talk over the music.  I didn’t mind it, but with my mom being older and wearing hearing aids, I was concerned it might be a little too loud for her.  They served the warm rolls and cinnamon honey butter right when we sat down.  I didn’t even want to wait for a drink because they looked so good.

Texas Roadhouse Rolls and honey butter

Texas Roadhouse Rolls and Cinnamon Honey Butter

Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long! Rachel, our waitress, appeared right away to take our drink order.  I have been trying to drink more water, but I ordered my Coke with lemon that night because I knew I was having steak and a cold Coca Cola with a lemon wedge just goes better with steak!  While I was waiting for our drinks, I bit into a roll.  It was as good as it looked!  I honestly don’t think I have ever had a bad roll from a Texas Roadhouse though so this location continued the trend.

She brought our drinks and as my mom was ordering her food, I took a sip.  Ugh!!!  It was Diet Coke!  I HATE the taste of diet coke.  When it was time to place my order, I politely told her I thought, perhaps, she had grabbed diet instead of regular, then proceeded to place my order.   She immediately brought me another one, which I took a sip of, and said it seemed better, but then, after taking a couple more sips, I was sure it wasn’t regular Coke, but diet again.  She said she had made sure she grabbed it from the regular Coke when she brought it to me.

I proceeded to eat my salad, which, was DELICIOUS!  Honestly, it was one of the freshest restaurant salads I have had in a long time.  There was just enough of everything, the dressing, blue cheese, had a nice flavor to it.  I was impressed.  If only the drink situation could be resolved!

Rachel came back and I asked her what other beverages they had, I just couldn’t drink this Coke anymore.  It wasn’t right.  She told me, but none of them sounded appealing.  I know it sounds silly, but for me, a bad beverage can really make a difference.  I was about to switch to water with lemon, because I knew it would taste OK, when she offered to go and get me a Coke from a different unit.  Honestly, at that moment, I so appreciated her!  She could have just brought me water with lemon and thought I was some crazy restaurant goer, but she went above and beyond to try to resolve the problem.  She brought me the new drink and I took a sip…… HALLELUJAH….we have regular Coke!  It was delicious too!   I’m sure I had a happy smile on my face, because she said she was going to look into it.  I didn’t expect anything more from it because they were busy and again, I figured she chalked me up to just a crazy person, I know I probably would!

Our meals came and I was impressed by the way they looked.

Starting with my mom’s meal, she had ordered a loaded baked potato.  The potato was, indeed, loaded, but more than that, you could tell how warm it was because the butter was melting down the side of it!   It made me almost regret getting steak fries it looked so good!

butter melting bacon sour cream

Texas Roadhouse Loaded Baked Potato

My steak and fries looked perfect.  I had ordered mine medium rare, which can be a crap-shoot at some restaurants, so I was hoping I would not be disappointed today. So far, other than the beverage, the food was spot on.  I ordered the bone in ribeye.  As you can see, it came out looking wonderful!  Bone-in Ribeye, Steak Fries, and a Coca-Cola, a winning combination!

Texas Roadhouse Bone-In Ribeye, Steak Fries, and Coca-Cola

The first thing I noticed was how well it cut.  It sliced through so easily I almost thought I missed the steak at first!  It was prepared perfectly.  The medium rare was visible, not too rare (which usually happens).  I bit into it and it was so full of flavor as well!  Perfect temperature, just enough flavor.  i was happy.  I would like to rave about the steak fries as well, but they were, well, just steak fries.  They weren’t bad, they were good, but compared to the steak and the look of my mom’s baked potato, I have to say, they were just good.

Funny story to go along with the meal, Rachel came back after serving the steaks to tell me a manager had gone to check the fountain and discovered someone had accidentally hooked up the Diet Coke syrup to the Coke! I had been redeemed!  I was not just a crazy person!  The manager was with her when they told me and we all laughed about it.  Mistakes happen, I’m just glad they followed through and actually checked it rather than just letting it go.  I wonder how many others were given the wrong drink and just didn’t say anything about it?

My mom said hers was really good as well.  She didn’t finish her whole steak and there was a roll  left over, so we took it home and I made her a steak and cheese slider with the roll the next day for lunch.  She was pretty happy with it!

Overall, a very nice experience.  There have been times in the past when Port Huron would get a restaurant and the quality or service wouldn’t be what you had come to expect from other locations, so I was pleased to see this Texas Roadhouse not only MET my expectations, but, honestly, superseded them!  Something you don’t expect with a chain restaurant.  I would highly recommend stopping in there if you live there or if you’re passing through on your way to Canada or just in the area.

Just remember, if the Coca-Cola doesn’t taste right, SAY SOMETHING!  Don’t suffer in silence!  🙂

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Why the death of a stranger affected me – HaliPawz

All of us experience high and low moments in life.  I have learned to accept them and just go with them. Yesterday was one of those days which started fairly well.  I was having a good day.  I had completed a blog I liked, I had created some memes for fun, and I was going to Five Guys for a great burger.   While I was at Five Guys, my day plummeted.  I learned about a death of, in reality, a stranger, and it affected me in such a surprising way.

He wasn’t a complete stranger.  I had “met” him a few weeks ago.  He had messaged me on an online dating site. I don’t have too many profiles up as I don’t date all that often anymore, but I still have a couple up. This particular one I had shut off for over a year and just re-activated it.  He had messaged me with a simple statement,

My daughter loves horses

It was an interesting hello but I went to go and look at his profile. It was interesting.  He was confident.  He was attractive.  Then I made it to the bottom of his profile and he shared the fact he wasn’t attracted to overweight women.  It made me pause.  This particular profile, of mine, is pretty accurate. I have two full length pictures. I’m not a skinny woman. Why would he message me? I responded politely to him, as I do for anyone that messages me, and I pointed out I didn’t match all of his profile but was happy to talk to him.

We started exchanging messages back and forth, small, not a lot of substance.  Then he tells me he is looking to take his daughter horseback riding for her birthday.  She loves horses, has been taking lessons for a year.  He asked if I tecommended a place.

Ahhh, now it makes sense…he wasn’t interested in me, but more in the fact I had a horse! I have a couple pics of me and Luke on there.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to be negative on myself.  I respect the fact he was open about his preferences.  I have preferences, we all do.  I just also know it isn’t typical for someone who normally dates skinny, fit, athletic women, to message me. I don’t fit their “likes” and it’s OK. We should never have a problem if someone had a type and we don’t fit it, even if we find them attractive, just like it is ok if someone who is attracted to us doesn’t fit our “type” or we don’t find them attractive.  There is no rule we have to find everyone attractive or vice versa.

The stranger and I talked horses a bit but I was getting ready to go to, ironically, a horse event so I shot him my phone number and my name so I could stop typing and we could discuss his questions quicker.  He responded with his name and number and said he’d call me a little later.

After some phone tag, we finally talked.  I didn’t quite understand why he was asking me some of his questions because he already had an answer and it was an established, positive answer to one of his questions.  He was interesting to talk to.  A little hot headed, quick to comment if he didn’t like what I said.  Not always a great listener when he was passionate about something. He was fun to talk to!

He mentioned being interested in possibly buying a horse for his daughter.  Asked me if I knew anyone who might be selling one.  I said I might.  I’d make a few calls.  We talked or messaged quite a bit.  Sometimes random stuff, sometimes about his daughter.

He had a passion about something I not only understood, but believed in as well.  He said he had the passion but not the words, so his website wasn’t what he would like.  I had read his site. He was right! His wording wasn’t the best.  His passion did not some out.  It was flat. I chuckled and said, well you might be in luck.  I sent him a link to this site so he could read some of my work.   He was excited.  His actual words were, “Could it be….” Then he asked me something about one of my blogs.

We had a falling out. We argued about something silly.  He was so bent on not “labeling” anyone or anything that he was mad I made a blind comment about a horse he was going to look at and I knew nothing about except the age and breed.  My comment was not inaccurate. It was about the breed.  He wasn’t a horse person so he didn’t quite understand it wasn’t a broad statement.  He was pretty upset.  We ended our conversation and I figured I’d never hear from him again.

Surprisingly, I did. He called me the next day.  We talked for a short time.  He didn’t even mention the previous conversation.  He intrigued me.  I never quite understood his way of thinking but had fun talking to him.

He called me during the day a couple days ago and I was busy.  We talked for about five minutes, but I was with someone and in a noisy environment so I told him I would have to talk to him later.  I knew he would have his daughter for the weekend so I told him to have a good time with her.  He mentioned going to see a matinee of the Avengers movie while she was in school the next day.  The way he worded it, I wasn’t sure if he was just mentioning it to mention it or if there was another reason.  I ended the call and decided I would figure it out later.

I didn’t expect to hear from him for a few days but he messaged me later that night. He would sometimes message me via the dating site we originally started talking on, sometimes he would text, sometimes he would call.  There were a few times we even went back and forth between the dating site & texting.

Shortly after 9pm he texted me to see if I was still out.  Sporadically, we learned we were both home, in out of the storms.  For a weird reason, he asked me where I was (had never asked me that before) so I asked him where he was.  When he said home, I responded “Good. Safe and Sound”


I never knew it would be my last words to him.

I texted him the next day, knowing he was with his daughter, and told him I hoped he was having a great day with her.

What followed was something I never saw coming…..

The text back told me he had passed away.

I didn’t understand or comprehend at first.  How could he be gone if “he” was texting me back.

Someone else had his phone.  He or she wasn’t family so they didn’t feel right telling me exactly what happened.  They asked me if I knew the family.  I didn’t.  I barely knew him.  We texted a small bit. I offered my condolences.  The texter admired my stranger friend as an “amazing man and father” and from the little I knew, I believed him.

As the day went on, I struggled with the news.  It was hard processing it. Why was I having such a hard time? I googled his name, trying to find an explanation.  No luck.  Then I went back to his dating profile…to our conversations….like I would find a miraculous explanation at a place no one in his family probably even knew about.

It made me question my own life.  Who would know all the different accounts I had.  Social media….I have all the basics plus some of the random ones.  People I interact with on the smaller ones would just think I got busy, or stopped posting.

Life isn’t guaranteed. We never know what is going to happen one day to the next.  

IMG_3194-1

Closure is an interesting thing.  Without closure, we feel lost, a little in limbo.

I’m hoping, with the posting of this blog, I will feel the closure I am seeking.

RIP to the stranger whom I only knew a short time but who’s passing will stay with me. 

 

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