September 23

Famous Curses

Throughout history, there are many examples of famous curses. Some people swear that they have been cursed, or have an object that is cursed. What does this truly mean, and is any of it true? Are these just legends, stories, myths, or something that can actually harm someone? No matter what you believe, curses should not be taken lightly. While there may be no such thing as a curse, or a cursed object, the belief in one can be just as strong. Let’s take a look at a few examples of curses that may chill you to the bone!

 

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The Hope Diamond:

This beautiful blue color diamond is almost an amazing 50 carets! No one is really sure of the true age of the stone, but the history goes back generations.It is rumored that the stone was once stolen from a statue of the goddess Sita. Eventually, this diamond came into the hands of Louis XVI and Marie Antoniette. If you don’t know the story, it doesn’t end well with them, with their country revolting and beheading them both. The Hope Diamond was stolen, and chipped apart more times than they can count. It eventually came into the hands of the Hope family, whom this stone takes it’s name from. Apparently, the people in the family who got the Diamond went bankrupt. Eventually, this stone would be connected with death, sickness, and all around bad luck. It currently resides at the famous Smithsonian and is owned by Harry Winstein. This was in an attempt to stay away from the curse. However, I’m not sure if that move worked or not.

King Tut’s Curse:

Back in the day, people used to rob graves. I know it still happens, but now it’s more frowned upon. Good ole King Tut didn’t want people messing with his final resting place, so he put a curse on his tomb. Basically, the warning read that anyone who enters his tomb will be judged. So, instead of taking any of this seriously, Howard Carter and his team ignored this and went ahead with disturbing the tomb. Other people had come, and had left without touching anything, but not Carter. The team steamed ahead and within a few years, most of them had dropped dead. There are 11 deaths that are connected to this event including a person dying from a mosquito bite that he got on the hunt. Other people died of strange illness, and went insane. Does this have anything to do with a curse? I’m not sure, but I’d like to know what happened to those other people who left King Tut’s tomb alone.

 

 Little Bastard:

Actor James Dean lived fast, died young, and left behind a cursed car. This car was a 550 Spyder that he named, “Little Bastard.” Dean was known for driving fast, so it wasn’t a surprise when he was killed in a car accident involving Little Bastard. After his death, the car was sold, and while under repairs, it fell and broke the leg of the man working on the car. The car was involved in another crash after it was stolen, and slide off the truck and went into traffic. It’s rumored that it killed two people, but that has not been confirmed. The car also has been involved in fires, and has been blamed for braking bones on people around the car. Today, no one is sure where this car is. However, you can be sure that it is waiting for it’s next victim.

 

There are a lot more to these stories. However is it a cures or not? If you watch a certain item for years, everyone around it will eventually have some bad luck, and die. You could watch a pair of socks for years, and everyone around them will pass away since that is part of life. However, there is a lot of heartache around these stories. What do you think? Is this a curse, or not?

September 18

SoHo Cafe and Gallery: The Review

Underdogs, if you have followed my blog at all, then you know how much I adore coffee. I was invited to try a place I’ve never been before called SoHo Cafe and Gallery. They are located at 620 S. Range Line Road in Carmel, Indiana. Their hours are Monday-Saturday 7 AM to 5 PM, and Sundays from 10 AM to 4 PM. I know what you are thinking about the hours! How in the world can a coffee shop make it with those hours? Let me add another bit of mystery for you. This has no drive thru, and it’s not located right by the roads like many chains and food places. I was thinking the same thing that you were about all of this. Normally, this would be a disaster for any business, especially when it comes to a coffee shop. However, SoHo Cafe doesn’t need the drive thru or a location right by the road. The destination is worth it and there is a reason their business is doing so well despite the odds.

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SoHo Cafe has a very nice outdoor area where you can sit outside. They have bike wracks for those who are coming off the Monan, which is a walking and biking path. They also have water for your dogs, so it’s very dog friendly! I brought Sunny here the first and second visit. The staff brought her a dog treat while we were enjoying our coffee! They have a nice counter where you order, and a huge room for you to enjoy your drink. This includes seats and chairs, tables, couches, and arm chairs.  Many of you who live in a bigger city will enjoy the fact that there are other, very small business located within this building that you must pass to get into the shop. It’s pretty cool. If you stay, the staff will bring your food and drinks to you and you get to enjoy the cafe.

Inside SoHo Cafe, they have several different types of art including paintings, woodwork, socks,  necklaces, napkins, and more. It is very nice to see all of these local artists sell their work. They also have photography, books, and games for people to share. Truly, I can’t say enough about the atmosphere. It is what I have been sorely missing since the internet took over the world and book stores and coffee shops started to shut down. Here you will find people working, older people playing games, younger people hanging out and talking, and people just enjoying their day. I can’t tell you how nice it was to just go and relax and talk with my friends, even while I was working. I honestly can’t say enough about how good it was to just be somewhere and enjoy not only the company, but what was going on around me. It’s been way to long, and that alone is enough to keep me coming back again and again.

Of course, we want to talk about the coffee! Any time I go to a new coffee shop, I order a Mocha. My thought on this is if they can’t do a mocha that tastes good, then it’s a sign. It’s my tradition, but I know other people will dive right in and try a special or something they never got before. I figured I would be at SoHo Cafe at least twice, so I went for the Mocha. It’s served in a big, Central Perk style cup with foam art. It is very pretty, but also very good. In fact, I like it so much, I ordered the same thing 3 more times on the next visits. I also tried the Iced Tea, which is pretty typical but I enjoyed it. When you are staying, they will give you one free refill of the iced tea, which is very nice. The other thing I tried and LOVED was the Cinnamon Mocha Frap, which is the cold, blended coffee. This was so good! I loved it! They also have smoothies, many different types of coffee, teas, and hot chocolates.

They also have a variety of pastries, sandwiches, and soups. I tried Cranberry, Blueberry, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin. They are all good, but the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip is my favorite. I was very sad when I went and it wasn’t included in the daily line up. It changes every single day, so you may not get the muffins you were hoping for. That’s the time to just try something different, which lead me to the Cranberry which was also awesome. I like the Blueberry the least out of the three, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t good. It was very tasty, I just like the others more than the blueberry. I haven’t tried any of the food yet, but my friend had some soup. I can’t recall what kind, but it smelled so good! I would try it eventually.

SoHo Cafe is doing something right, which is why their location, and no drive thru doesn’t hurt them. It has quickly become one of my favorite places for me to go to and spend an afternoon. I really love the atmosphere, and the coffee and food are great. The only thing I need to point out is sometimes the staff may forget about your whole order. This happened twice, and I had to go get the rest of my order. It wasn’t that big of a deal to me since it was so busy and they bring your items out to you. That doesn’t happen in most coffee shops, so that didn’t bother me a whole lot. It might bother other people. When I told them about it, they were very fast to respond and were kind about it. Kindness can go a very long way. So, as far as rating, I give SoHo Cafe a 5 out of 5. If you are local, go check it out because you won’t regret it!

 

 

September 17

Castle Rock: The Review

Underdogs, if you have not seen the series, “Castle Rock,” on Hulu, then you may not want to read any more of this blog post. This will contain spoilers for the entire series! I highly suggest that you check this show out and watch before reading anything about this show. Okay, on with the real fun I have been OBSESSED with Castle Rock! I have devoured the entire series and it has left me wanting more! It’s not perfect, but there are moments of perfection. If you have no knowledge about Steven King, or his universe, then I believe you will still enjoy the story. However, it does help if you have a basic knowledge of his stories. Besides, it is always fun to see and hear the Easter Eggs hidden in the show for the fans. I see something new with each viewing. I have watched the entire series, saved for the final show, through twice at this point and it won’t be the last. It is important to remember that even though this cast includes many people who have acted in other Steve King movies, it does not mean that they are the same character. This adds an amazing layer to this story, but that does need clarification.

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 Castle Rock is the fictional town in the state of Maine where many of Steven King’s books take place. This is truly one of my favorite things about Steven King. How he connects his universe, and the people within that world is genius. There are nods to other stories in most of his books. I am a huge fan of this type of writing and I seek out authors who do this in their stories. Steven King is producing this along with J. J. Abrams. Many people question this choice, but I’m also a huge J. J. Abrams fan, and believe he is doing this series a huge justice. He is a master at character building, and mystery, so there isn’t anyone better to do this job. If you have only been exposed to Steven King’s book that are horror themed, then you are doing you are missing out. He has some amazing thrillers and very human nature stories which pull at all the heart-strings. May I recommend my favorite, “Hearts in Atlantis?”


Castle Rock begins with a young Sheriff Alan Pangborn (Needful Things) searching in the woods for an 12 year old missing boy named Henry Deaver. It’s very cold, and dangerous, and you can tell that the search is getting desperate. Henry has been missing for 11 days. All of a sudden, you hear a strange sound, and there is Henry in the middle of a frozen lake! He is unharmed, confused, and has no memory of what happened to him. We then come back to present day and see a soon to be retired Warden Dale Lacy, who quickly kills himself in a very violent way. After his death, Lacy is replaced with Warden Theresa Porter, who asks the guards to seek out why they are only using a percentage of their cells. A fire broke out in the 1980’s and their job was to see if they were usable. They found more than what they ever imagined, because in a hole, they find a living young man all alone in the dark. They have no record of this young man, and he is not in the system anywhere.

 

We  then meet Henry as an adult who now is a lawyer for those on death row. The guard, Dennis, who found the young man, calls Henry since the only words he spoke was Henry’s name. From here on out, this young man will be known as The Kid. It is obvious that Henry does not want to go back to Castle Rock, and his arrival is not a warm welcome when he reluctantly comes back. He gets called names and is not offered a ride by anyone. In fact, a young women who sees him, slinks down in her seat so Henry can’t see her and quickly drives away. Henry walks to his childhood home and finds his Mom, Ruth, outside in winter wear during the heat. It is obvious that Ruth has a memory issue such as dementia. She doesn’t recognize her own adoptive son at first. This could be due to her mind, or due to the fact that he didn’t visit much, or another very strange reason. This may not be the way Ruth’s son Henry, always looks like when he comes to her. He also finds that Alan, the same man who saved him as a child at the lake, is now retired and living with his Mom. This makes Henry angry, but we find Alan loves Ruth and has been taking care of her in the absence of her son.

 

 The story gets very complicated from here, but Henry eventually runs into his childhood friend, Molly, who was the same women who hide from him earlier. She is plagued by a physic gift, and takes drugs to dull the effects. Molly and Henry are very connected. So much that Molly can feel what Henry feels at any given moment. The story of their childhood is briefly told and you find out that Henry’s Dad, who was the pastor of the church, was taking Henry out at all odd hours, scaring Molly because she feared for Henry. There is talk of an accident that happened to Pastor Deaver during the time when Henry was gone. People blamed Henry for doing something to him out in the woods because he was found half frozen, with a broken back. He told Alan that Henry did it. Pastor Deaver passed away at his home after it seemed he was recovering. The truth was that Molly, as a child, and in a trance, cut off Pastor Deaver’s air, killing him. While she was doing this, it was like Henry was with her, or even making her do this act.

Henry takes on The Kid as his client, but he is still not talking. The Kid eventually gets placed in a cell even though they can’t figure out why he is there, or even if he should be there. Strange events begin to happen around The Kid such as his violent cell mate dying of cancer, and Dennis going on a killing spree. The Kid eventually gets out, even though Alan went to the new Warden and warned her to never let him out of any cell. It turns out Alan pulled over Lacy 27 years ago with The Kid stuck in his trunk. Lacy showed Alan The Kid, and Alan let Lacy keep him and lock him up. We also eventually find out that The Kid hasn’t aged in 27 years. Henry doesn’t want to take care of The Kid, but he has no money, no ID, no name, and no place to go. He gets bounced around to a few people, but he leaves a body count. The Kid never does anything, it is hard to tell if The Kid is bringing out violence and darkness around people, or he is just an observer.

We see The Kid becoming more comfortable and seems to remember some of his life once he stays with Henry out in shed out back. The Kid talks more, walks around town more, and even interacts with Ruth. Ruth is suffering, and has jumped off the bride in a moment of either clarity or confusion. The Kid manipulates Alan to go on a wild goose chase so he can be alone with Ruth. He knows Ruth, very well. He seems to care for her too. Henry is deep in the woods at the same time trying to figure out what happened to him. His Father used to talk about hearing the voice of God. He believed that Henry could hear it too. Henry could hear a high pitched sound that he even sought out medical treatment. No one could explain the sound, but other people hear it too, including Henry’s son Wendell. This sound had people not only chasing to hear it, but committing murder and inflicting self-harm because of it. The sound makes people crazy, or clear, depending on which side of sanity you are standing on.

We find after The Kid’s interaction with Ruth, that she is very much a time walker. For a person suffering with memory issues, this is episode does a masterful job of explaining to others what it might actually be like for the person. Ruth knows that she is walking through time, and leaves herself bread crumbs to get back to the present. The only problem is, which present? The Kid tells Molly that he came from another universe, or alternative time line, and is the son of Ruth and the Pastor. They never adopted a child, and he is a doctor working on dementia. Henry was adopted after his parents had a still born child, and never tried to have another child again. The Kid is trying to get home, and believes he needs Henry to help him because he can hear the noise, and The Kid can not.

The Kid lets Molly know that in his world, Castle Rock is prosperous. He lived with his Mom and Alan after she left her crazy and abusive husband. He hadn’t been back in years, until his Father died. He found in his childhood basement, a child being kept by the Pastor, in a cage. That child was the same young Henry we meet at the start of the story being rescued in the middle of the lake by Alan. The child had been in that cage for 27 years and hadn’t aged. He refused to tell anyone his name, and hardly spoke.  They take him to a hospital, but trouble follows this young Henry and the places catches on fire. Young Henry runs into the forest because he hears the noise, with The Kid and other Molly following. Molly and The Kid were childhood friends in this world, who reunited when he came back for his Father’s funeral. Molly, The Kid and a police officer follow young Henry into the woods. They see several different things going on around them. It seems this sound is a place where the veil is thin between worlds. For  Steven King fans it’s called the Thining.

The Thining shows us several people who are either walking through these time lines, are stuck there watching in fear, or hurting themselves because of it. Young Henry runs, and The Kid follows him. Young Henry ends up in the iced over lake, being rescued by Alan, and The Kid stands there in fear and disbelief. Lacy then finds him and cages him in Shawshank, the prison he works at, for the next 27 years. The Kid asks Henry to take him to the woods so he can get home, but as Henry observes, death follows The Kid. The Kid eventually gets Henry out there at gun point and he can hear the noise. Henry and The Kid scuffle and for a brief moment, The Kid turns into a monster, then back again. Henry then puts The Kid right back in the hole where he was found, and the dance begins again.

 

 There is a lot more with the story, and I will do more of a breakdown of themes and Easter Eggs on another post. Many people were upset and angry about the ending, because it’s not solved. Nothing is solved. However, this is very much a Steven King story. He is famous for building an amazing universe, and leave the reader without a definitive answer or ending. It shows that nothing is tied up in a bow, and that life keeps going. There are no easy answers. In fact, there may not be any answers at all. The guessing, discussion, and breakdown is the important part of the story. This world is very well done, and I can understand why some felt left down. I wasn’t because it had such a pulse, and the story was so well done. I don’t want answers handed to me on a plate, I want to work for it. The good thing about this series is you can pretty much think whatever theory that you want, and be correct. This show begs for discussion, for theories, and for speculation. As a series as a whole, I give it a 4.5 out 5 Stars. There are a few reasons that I didn’t give it a perfect score. However, I think that episode 7, “The Queen,” is the best written and shot show that I’ve ever seen, and someone needs to give Sissy Spacek all of the awards. All of them! Bravo!

What do you think, dear Underdogs?

 

 

September 10

All things must pass

Hello Underdogs, things have been pretty down and out for me of recent. I keep telling myself that all things must pass. I’m sorry that I have been absent so long. I’m not sure if anyone has noticed or not. I do this blog to help myself, and as a creative outlet. You see, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I’m too chicken to do anything about it. Yes, I blog. Yes, I’ve written books, but I could do so much more. At least I believe that I could during those few crazy moments that I have in my life. All things must pass, but sometimes, those stones are hard to get ride of.

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What stones am I talking about that I want to passqw? The stones of my youth, and in my head. My parents were good people. They did the best they could. My Dad never believed that I should go for a degree in writing because I would never get anywhere. He wanted me to get a job and stick it out for 35  years like he did. While that put food on the table, I hardly saw my Dad growing up and we lost a lot of time. It also literally killed him. The work was so hard on the body, and so stressful that he had to take a medical retirement package. He wanted me to find whatever job that I could get and stay no matter how poorly I was treated, or how much I hated it. It wasn’t in his nature to quit even when it was killing him. I listened to this advice and took almost any job that I could get. This meant that I was way underpaid and very overworked for over 10 years of my life. I got into a lot of trouble because I couldn’t even pay the very basics of life with my wages and ended up living on a credit card.

Those stones are still wrapped around my neck and I drag them with me everywhere. Those jobs also offered little to no health care. When I got very sick, I had to put that on the credit card as well. After I lost my health care, I didn’t go to the doctor for almost 10 years. I’m now paying for that with my health. My anxiety and depression also have been ignored because I didn’t have the money to even try to treat these issues. I couldn’t put the time into write because I was literally in survival mode, almost as far back as I can remember.

I have accomplished things that I am proud of, but I feel so beaten down at this point in my life. I’ve lost so much, and writing sometimes is what keeps me going. Since my Indy has died, I feel less inclined to even try. I keep myself very busy, but find little time to do things like sit down and write. It’s facing the stones around my neck that I’m not getting pass.

So, I sit here in a defeated mood, but not defeated. I keep going. I keep hoping that something will lighten up and come from all this suffering and hard work. I have worked so hard for so little and all I want to do is cover my bills, and take care of my Mom. I want to bring a few people some smiles with my blogs. I know this isn’t my normal blog, but I’m not my normal self at the moment. But don’t worry, this too shall pass, eventually.

August 21

Spascriptions

Hello Underdogs, it’s time to try to get back into the swing of things. Try it Tuesday’s product is called Spascriptions. This is something that I picked up while I was at Walmart. Both my roommate and I were looking for something new to use on our faces, and this seemed like a good choice. It’s a 3 pack of gel face masks, with one mask applicator. In this box is 3 different gel masks that are 1.7 oz each. They all are all for different skin concerns such as Rose (deep cleaning). Gold(smooth fine line and wrinkles), and Cucumber(calming). This product was $8.99 and was not on sale. I didn’t have any sort of coupons either, but seeing that you are getting 3 masks and one good size applicator, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal. Here is my review of the product, and my thoughts.

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I decided to try out the Gold gel mask from the Spascirptions box. I’m not going to lie, I had visions of my face being gold and I would look like an Oscar. Sadly, that didn’t happen, but putting on the mask gave me a bit of a glitter look, so I sparkled like the queen that I am! I do want to say that the box itself, with all the products inside, was not easy to open. I had to rip it in half in order to get all 4 parts out. That wasn’t too much fun, but it was packaged so nothing was going anywhere, so I guess that was a good thing.

 

For those of you who have followed along with my Try it Tuesday before, you know how much I dislike having a scent to things that you put on your face. Outside of a natural smell of the ingredients, I think adding any sort of scent can really have an affect on your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin like myself. That is why I was very happy when I opened the jar and smelled next to nothing! There was a very, very light scent to the Gold, but it was nothing more than what I would consider a natural smell. That made me super happy. The applicator was very easy to use, but there really wasn’t directions to state how much to put on your face. They just say apply evenly after you clean your face. I wish these products, like Spascriptions, would be more specific on how much to put on your face. I guessed and put on a few small scoops. To my delight, my second favorite thing happened when using a face mask, which is the cooling effect. This gel mask cooled as quickly as I put it on my face. I love when that happens.

It says on that Gold container that this is a 15 minute mask. I went and sent my timer and went about my business. Again, I’m not sure if I put on too much, or too little. I think I may have put too much on my forehead because it was still gooey after 15 minutes. The rest of my face was kind of dry, but I could feel the gel mask on it still. Those 15 minutes were pretty uneventful outside of that. That is actually a good thing because I didn’t feel itchy, or have any sort of adverse reaction. I also didn’t feel the need to go wash off my face before the end of the timer like I have in the past with other products. I then used a washcloth with warm water to take off the gel mask. It was also super easy to get off, and I didn’t feel like I had any left over film on me at all.

This is only the first time that I have used this product, and Spascriptions recommends that you use the product 2 to 3 times a week. I know you won’t feel a whole lot different after one use. However, there are things that I look for when using a face mask even if it’s for the first time. First is smell, second is cooling or heating, third is if it hurts or itches my face, and fourth is how my skin feels after removing. My skin actually felt tighter, especially on my forehead, and cheeks, which is where I think I got the most product. My face didn’t feel super smooth, or soft, but even after an hour my face felt much tighter. Gold claimed to help with fine lines and wrinkles so I would assume that this is why, and it is doing what it is supposed to do.

As far as my thoughts on this product, it’s not too bad. I am impressed that after an hour, my face still feels tighter after using the Gold mask. That’s pretty good. It’s not overly bad, or annoying, but I can feel a difference. My face seems a bit softer as time goes on, and it doesn’t look any different, which isn’t a bad thing since this is only the first time using it. I would continue to use Spascriptions because it wasn’t harsh. I wish that the directions were clearer on how much product you should put on your face. That is not uncommon, but it is helpful to have a bit of a guide. The price is not bad for what you get. I like that you have 3 choices for your skin needs in this one package.  I love that it doesn’t smell and it cools off your face. I am giving this a 4 out of 5 stars. It loses one point due to the lack of clear application directions.

 

Have you ever tried Spascirptions? What is your favorite gel face masks? Comment below!

 

 

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August 13

Goodbye Indy

Hello Underdogs. I know that I have been absent recently. It’s with a heavy heart that I must say that my beloved dog, Indy has passed away. This by far has been one of the hardest things that I have gone through and I am broken. I have lost dogs before, but Indy was my best buddy in the whole world, and it hurt worse than I could ever imagine. For those who think I don’t know real loss, I know it all too well. I lost all my grandparents, my Dad, and some very good friends during the course of my life. It makes me upset when people say that you “just lost a dog.” I didn’t just lose my dog, I  lost my best friend. Grief isn’t measured in a person, or a pet, but by how much you loved. If you are lucky, your life will be filled with grief.

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I had Indy with me since he was a baby. We went through so much together. He literally saved my life twice, and it almost cost him his very own life both times. He slept with me every night. He traveled with me all over the USA. He moved with me in several places and several states. My one regret is that I could never afford a place to live that had a fence in yard where he could run and play as much as he wanted. He was by my side during the worst moments including the loss of his sister, Poe, and my Dad.

There has never been another soul as pure and as wonderful as Indy. He wasn’t the smartest crayon in the box, but he sure was pretty. He had a huge bark, but was a big snuggler. Indy would moo like a cow sometimes, loved his ears rubbed, and enjoyed cheeseburgers. He was a great brother, a wonderful friend, and part of my soul. Anyone who has lost a pet understands how hard it is to walk into your house, and feel so alone. Even though I do have another dog, my life feels so empty and alone now. I love Sunny so very much, but of course, she isn’t, and never has been a replacement for Indy.  You can never replace an animal, you can get another one, but it doesn’t take away the loss and pain of your beloved lost animal.

That’s all I want to say for now. I’m not taking this so well, and that is the truth of the matter. Each day hurts, and it gets further and further away from the last day I had him in my life. It gets worse. Grief is very real, and very hard. What I learned is that I need to take my own time. I can cry and hurt because it’s okay. I can also want to be alone because things have become too much. I can also be happy too. One day, I will be better, but today is not that day, and it may not be that day for a very long time. Indy was with me for 12 years, and I’m thankful for every moment. There are no words to express how much I loved my dog, and how much I miss him.

Goodbye my baby, Indy. I will miss you for the rest of my life. Thank you for letting me be your person.

 

***If you are able to help, please check out my go fund me page to donate to Indy’s Burial Fund:

http://gf.me/u/kirjzv

July 31

Sunny’s Bath Time

Every single dog gets smelly once in awhile, and sometimes you don’t have an option to wash your dog at home. It could be for several reasons including not having a bath tub, hose outside, or are worried about the hair clogging the drain. I have always been a bit skeptical about taking my dog to a place where you self-wash the dog. I keep saying that I could do all of this at home on my own. However, a nice lady at Pet Valu (not sponsored)  gave me a very nice coupon to try it out. I found out that it may actually be safer and cheaper in some instances, to take your dog to a self washing bath. So, I decided to take Sunny and try it out!

 

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I don’t wanna bath!

Pet Valu provides several things for Sunny’s bath time. First, they have a fairly deep bath area for your dog to get into either by using the steps, or in my case, picking up the dog and placing her inside the tub. They have a restraint to put your dog on while you take off their harness or their collar so you can make sure they get all clean! They have sprayer that you control the temp and the pressure. They also have an actual dryer, towels, about 10 different choices on shampoo, and towels. All of this being provided is worth it to me, but that’s not all because your pup will also get treats while they get their bath! Normally the cost of this service is $10.00. You don’t have a time limit on your bath, but it’s nice to aware of the people around you who may be waiting to also take a bath.

Poor Sunny was very afraid when we started the process. The lady who works at Pet Valu went and got a calming spray to help with her fear. That as well above and beyond what they normally do, and I can tell you that it worked. Even though Sunny looks scared, she really did calm down and eventually she enjoyed herself. First, I got the proper temp for the water, and slowly sprayed her down. Sunny didn’t like this part of the bath. Next, my friends read off all the shampoos they had ranging from ones that were good for shiny coats, shedding, or even itching. I decided to use one for Sunny’s bath that had tea tree oil. This is a great essential oil that helps will everything from itching, to any skin problems. It also smells really good and this made her coat very soft.

I massaged Sunny with the shampoo, and let it sit for around five minutes. During those few minutes, I was able to reach over and pick up some lovely complimentary treats to feed Sunny while she had her bath. Sunny did try to get out a few times, but that is pretty normal. Once the shampoo settled, I then sprayed her off, and grabbed the dryer. Sadly, there wasn’t any instructions that told me how to turn this on or off, so it was a lot of trail and error before I got it to work. It is at least cool air, so it won’t hurt your dogs, and it has 3 settings to help with the drying process. This was too scary for Sunny, so I switched to using a towel. The whole bath process took around 15 minutes.

 

So, here is what I learned about taking your dog to have a bath at a self-washing station. First, walk in and see the place before every taking your dog. I did this the day before, and it was important for me to feel the place out and make sure everything was safe. Always ask for instructions, even if there are posted. They may tell you some tips that are not listed anywhere. Wear clothing you don’t mind getting some dog hair on, or possibly that will get wet. I didn’t realize until it was too late, but they had an apron that I could have put on while I was giving Sunny her bath. I was covered in dog hair and went home to change. Be relaxed yourself, because your dog may feel your anxiety and it could make bath time a lot harder.

Is this worth it? I think it really is, especially if you don’t have a space to clean your dog. Again, I encourage you to check these places out before walking in with your dog, ready to give them a bath. Some places require a reservation, or some take walk-ins only. I only have experience with Pet Valu, so this is the only one I can give an opinion on. I really had a great time giving Sunny her bath. It was cheap, and a simple process. Sunny was afraid, but then started to relax as it went on. I think that’s pretty normal for most dogs who don’t like bath time in general. I would take Sunny here again. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars!

What do you think? Have you ever taken your pup to get a bath at a self-wash station. Leave your comments below using the hashtag: #dogbath

July 29

Iowa’s Missing Children

Underdogs, I was born, and raised in Iowa. I spent 18 years of my life in the same small town that both of my parents spent most of their lives in. I had some of their same teachers, went to the same schools, and sometimes, even had some of the same books.  I went to college in Iowa. I lived in several cities in Iowa until a few years ago so I am deeply rooted to this state and it’s people. When people think of Iowa, the first thing that pops to mind is potatoes. Why potatoes? Because people are always confusing Iowa with Idaho. Iowa brings up images of the Midwest, corn, cows, and soy beans. They don’t automatically think of missing children, drugs, or violence. People let their kids play outside until the street lights come on, leave their keys in their cars, and leave their houses unlocked. There is a false sense of safety, and all of this ignorance is a perfect storm of being not only unprepared for real dangers, but not being able to recognize them when something truly bad is happening. These are general statements, and Iowa is not the only place that falls into this trap. However, Iowa is in the news right now because of the shocking number of missing people who have gone missing over this summer. What is going on, and is this actually a real thing like some claim, or a hoax, like others want you to believe. Let’s take a look.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

THIS BLOG CONTAINS MY THOUGHTS. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO HARM, BUT TO INFORM. BECAUSE OF THE SENSITIVE NATURE, PROCEED  READING THIS BLOG WITH CAUTION.

 

 

48 People in the Last 13 days:

Reports are stating that 48 people have gone missing in the last 10 days. According to the official missing persons page of Iowa, it is actually 48 children who have gone missing in the past 13 days. News reports, and officials are stating that this number of missing people is within the yearly average, and the only reason there is so much focus is due to the missing college student, Mollie Tibbets.  (At the time of this publishing, Mollie is still missing and the search is still ongoing.) I am going to be quite frank here. First, how dare you treat the missing as an average number. One child or loved missing is one too many. Do not be so apathetic to reduce a human being to what is considered an appropriate number of those counted among the missing. Each of these people has a family, loved ones, and a community that is scared beyond measure. You are reducing them to nothing, and not giving any of those people the attention that they deserve. For shame! You can go to the site and count yourself. It’s updated every 4 hours. It’s always hard to see the missing, but the sheer number of minors gives me the chills. Don’t take my word for it, look yourself here: http://www.iowaonline.state.ia.us/mpic/

One more bit of anger. Shame on all those who are saying that this “fake news story” is being used to scare people and give them false information.  How about we be more vigilant because this is someone’s reality every single day instead of shoving it off as a scare tactic? I feel that we have gotten to the point that we live in a virtual world, and the reality of the dangers of the world outside get lost in translation. We post photos of our children everywhere. We walk around with our faces buried in our phones instead of watching our surroundings. We make poor choices when meeting people we only know via online. We give our children access to way too much technology way to young. It makes us all fall into a false sense of a safe bubble. We have people who refuse to believe and won’t see that sex trafficking is a huge problem in every city, in every state. Even if this story from Iowa is somehow, “wrong,” it gives massive attention to something very real, and very scary that we can’t just continue to close our eyes to. The missing and exploited need the attention, so let’s not be so vain to pick apart the actual threat, because it sadly is very real. Use this as a learning opportunity and a way for you to do your own research. Open up a dialog with your loved ones and stop burying your head in the sand when it comes to being safe.

According to the website THORN, 1 out of every 7 missing people are suspected to be forced into sex trafficking. While that may only “seem like a small number for those missing in Iowa,” one is too many. Sadly, this number could be a lot higher because not ever single case is solved. Also, not every single case of a missing person is reported.That number could go up and up and up. Why wouldn’t each case of a child going missing be reported? There are many reasons. First, they could be here illegally, and they don’t get reported because of this issue. The child is considered a run away, but that usually stops a deeper investigation in it’s tracks and they don’t go beyond this theory to get proper investigations. The missing person is disabled in some way, and it is thought that they ran off. The person is LBGQT youth, or homeless. Worst of all, the person sold into trafficking may have been done on purpose by family members or friends. This is the world we live in, and this is the world many refuse to see right in front of their eyes. https://www.wearethorn.org/child-trafficking-statistics/

Why are so many children from Iowa going missing all of a sudden. Well, it’s not all of a sudden, but the numbers don’t lie and it’s scary. I cried making the list of kids who reported missing in July 2018. That is just a percentage of children and other people who are missing. There is a lot of thought about the highway system and I-80 being prime places for easy sex trafficking. In those areas, there are many strangers, many big trucks, and many chances to quickly grab someone. Not that it isn’t safer anywhere else, this is just a theory that I have read about. There may not be an answer, but the important thing is to get these children’s names out there, and get people talking about how to keep as safe as we all can.

Here are a few tips to help you out if you are in danger: 

*Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

*Lock your doors and windows.

*Carry your cell phone with you at all times.

*Carry your keys in your hands, they can become a weapon if needed.

*Make a lot of noise. Be very loud and vocal, especially if you feel like you are being watched or followed.

*Don’t be ashamed to be asked to be escorted to your car.

*Travel in pairs, or a group.

*Do not post your location online.

*Do not upload a selfie everyday with what you are wearing.

*Never give out any of your plans on social media.

*Don’t give out personal info on social media.

*If something happens to you, be violent. Yell, kick, scream, fight, make a huge scene.

*RUN!!

*Get to a public place and make a huge scene.

*Do your best to not be forced to a second location if taken. Run away if you can!

*If you are taken, leave a trail of blood. Cut your finger and leave blood marks where you can as a trail. This may seem extreme, but this has been proven to save lives.

*Get your fingerprints of file.

*When you are on your phone, you are distracted. Never do this at night!

*Take self defense classes.

*Use common sense.

*Keep your GPS location device on your phone switched on while walking, jogging, or going back and forth to your car for any reason.

*Check your backseat before getting into your car.

*Be weary of vans with no windows parked next to you. If you see this, it is not a bad idea to walk back to whatever location you were in and ask for an escort.

*If you see a note, or any object on your car, leave it and either walk away, or get into the car, lock the doors and drive away as fast as you can while honking your horn. This places attention on you, and these have been tactics that people have used to grab victims.

*Never be outside alone at night.

*Don’t ignore tips if you are in a “good neighborhood.” There is no such thing.

 

 

I want to close this very all over the place article with some of the names of the missing Iowa Children, my sources, and where you can go to get more information. I highly recommend that you go visit THORN  site and learn about some of the terrible realities of both real and virtual dangers that can save you or your loved ones life. Missing children, and missing people happen every day, but it should NEVER become common. It should never be ignore or pushed aside when a real problem is happening right now, at this very minute. *136 minors in the USA go missing every hour. How long did it take you to read this blog post? How many went missing during that time? The answer is too many.

 

 

I am listing 35 of the names of the minors who are considered missing from the Iowa Website for July 2018 . No photos uploaded at this time for these names, but this could change. I am human, and may have made spelling mistakes,  or even a few date mistakes, but each of these names is of a real minor that is missing in Iowa at the time of the publishing of this blog post.

Please check back their site to see if photos have been uploaded. https://www.iowa.gov/?ia_slv=1532897630757

*Yaritza Aritia: Female: Des Moines Iowa: 14 years old

Joesiahha Armstrone: Male: Davenport, Iowa: 14 years old

Yvette Alvia: Female: Cedar Rapids, Iowa: 17 years old

Diona Bass: Female: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 14 years old

Deontay Baxter, Male, Des Moines, Iowa: 13 years old

Amina Begnovic: Female, Waterloo, Iowa, 16 years old

Isabelle Buckman, Female: Council Bluffs Iowa, 14 years old

Ananda Camp: Female, Des Moines, Iowa, 17 years old

Jermome Caldwell, Male, Bettendorf, Iowa, 15 years old

Nazzario Campbell: Male, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 13 years old

Donnell Carter: Male, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 16 years old

Leeanne Cray, Female: Des Moines, Iowa, 15 years old

Jaecelle Dennis, Male, Clarinda Iowa, 16 years old

Madeline Francis, Female, Davenport, Iowa, 15 years old

Damello Foulks, Male, Marshaltown, Iowa, 14 years old

Maydelin Guerra, Female, Des Moines, Iowa, 15 years old

Albertan Harlan, Female, Indianola, Iowa, 16 years old

David Harn, Male, Waverly, Iowa, 16 years old

Angel Ibarra, Male, Fort Dodge, Iowa, 14 years old

Belinda James, Female, Council Bluffs, Iowa, 14 years old

Brookylnn Killian, Female, Davenport Iowa, 13 years old

Taylor Lambertus, Female, Newton, Iowa, 16 years old

Orlando Lame, Male, Clarinda Iowa, 13 years old

Chance Lefman, Male, Dubuque, Iowa, 14 years old

Mackensie Lipp, Female, Muscatine, Iowa, 16 years old

Brendon Reed, Male, Council Bluffs, Iowa, 15 years old

Dodge Reynolds, Male, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 16 years old

Caleb Shoepskyy, Male, Waterloo, Iowa, 17 years old

Ashleigh Schossow, Female, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 13 years old

Justine Shaw, Female, Ottuwma, Iowa, 15 years old

Malichi Vanderpool, Male, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 15 years old

Brenn Vellinga, Female, Marshaltown, Iowa, 17 years old

Sernity Wiseman, Female, Davenport, Iowa, 13 years old

Summer Williams, Des Moines, Iowa, 17 years old

Tryon Woolery, Male, Des Moines Iowa, 16 years old

Mackenzie York, Female, Mason City, Iowa, 15 years old

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credited Sources:

THORN: https://www.wearethorn.org/

IA Dept of Public Safety: http://www.iowaonline.state.ia.us/mpic/Controller.aspx?cmd=fullReportCommand

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: http://www.missingkids.com/

 

I have echoed the thoughts of Anonymous Construct: Please visit this video here for the details of the vigil taking place on August 1st, 2018 in Waterloo, Iowa. By the way, I lived in Waterloo and this hits close to home. https://youtu.be/SxrsoJ0ZFtA

July 19

Titanic Size Theories

On April 15th, 1912, one of the biggest sea disasters ever happened after the ship called the Titanic sunk. Spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie, but over 2000 people are killed. For years, people have been enchanted by this true story of tragedy which has lead to many doing research and finding some things that just don’t add up. The Titanic was being sold as the “unsinkable” ship, but it not only hit an ice burg, but it split in half, sending many people to a terrible death. There wasn’t enough life boats to save even half of the passengers, which could have been avoided if proper precautions were taken. This boat only made one voyage, but it was such a terrible accident that people were driven to find answers. Could a single ice burg really take down an entire ship, or was it due to fire? Or, was the Titanic real at all?

This post will contain affiliate links. See the Disclaimer page for more details.

 

 The Wreck of the Titan:

In 1898, years before the Titanic sunk, there was a book that mirrored the fate of the ship written by Morgan Robertson. The book was called, “The Wreck of the Titan.” The Titan was a British ship that also was hit by an ice burg and killed thousands of people during the accident. They also didn’t have enough life boats to get all the people to safety. While this book was updated by the author after the sinking of the Titanic, it doesn’t take away the fact that many of the things written in this fictional book became a reality. Did the author know something that we didn’t? Was this a warning that needed to be paid attention to, or was it just a story in a book? No matter what you think, it is very strange indeed.

 

 Fire!

Big ships like the Titanic were fueled by coal fire. While useful, it could be very dangerous for several reasons. First, the people shoveling this coal could not only get burned, but they also were breathing in the coal that would coat their lungs. Secondly, this wasn’t the most controlled way to make a huge ship like this run, which meant that a fire could break out at any time. That was a very real fear and a real danger. There have been people researching this accident for years, and many wonder why an ice burg could take down a ship this size even though the ice burg itself was huge. These same scholars point out photos of the evidence of fire before the Titanic even took off! They believe that the fire started in the lowest deck, and even burned up to 3 decks higher. The theory is that a perfect storm caused this major accident to happen. This included the fire, the cold water, the ice burg, and the excessive speed that they were traveling. No matter what you think, it was a terrible accident that many can learn from.

 

The Olympic:

The Olympic was the sister ship of the Titanic. This means they were built by the same people, funded by the same people, and looked like twin boats. The Olympic had an accident which was very costly, and the repairs. How were they to recoup all of the losses? Why insurance fraud of course! The plan was born to switch out these two ships. The Olympic took the place of the Titanic with the intent to sink the ship and collect all the money that the insurance would pay out due to the accident. This may seem very far fetched, but there are letters written from people who worked on the project. They had a short window to make the transformation, then after they completed the job, they were all fired. Another strange fact was that backer, J.P. Morgan had booked a ticket on the Titanic. He decided at the last minute to not board the boat. The reason was never revealed, but many take this as a clue that he had knowledge that the boat would sink. What else would keep a person with such clout away from the biggest event in the world at that moment? While it did save his life, was this at the cost of thousands of others? There are also books written about this theory with very detailed connections.

 

Those were 3 Titanic size theories about what really happened that day. No matter the theory, it was a very tragic event that cost many lives. Hopefully, lessons were learned from this accident and future lives were saved because of the mistakes made here.

What do you think? Leave a comment below with #titanic

July 16

The Handmaid’s Tale: A Review

When the Hulu show, “A Handmaid’s Tale,” started two seasons ago, I wasn’t interested. I remember seeing bits and pieces of the movie from the 1980’s and it wasn’t very good. However, as time went on, I kept having friends tell me it is a show that I must watch. Being the faithful reader, I decided to read the book before watching the show. “A Handmaid’s Tale,” is a book that is written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood which came out in 1985. This book chilled me to the bone and I devoured it in one sitting. I decided to go ahead and try the series, which was up to its third episode at this point. I was truly struck by the sheer beauty of the lights, the color, and the camera work. Clearly the setting is as much of a character as the people involved in the story itself. The complex story and the amazing acting is what keeps me coming back again and again, even after I am truly shocked by what I have seen.

This post contains affiliate links. See the Disclaimer on Promotions Page for more info.

 

I have gone back and forth about doing a review about this series for two simple reasons. First, everyone else is doing it and it may be getting a bit old for some people. Second, this show is so raw, that it is painful. It is so hard to discuss the subject matters without seeing real life examples and realizing we may not be so far off from Gilead, which is what is left of America after the fall of, well, everything. The book and the series have some major differences, but for the most part, the heart of the story is the same. We hear about the world through a nameless Handmaid in the book, but for the series, they call her June. She is one of the many nameless women who are forced to become a vessel of human life. They say the revolution didn’t happen over night, but by the time they paid attention, it was too late and they had already lost.

While it is never clear at this point what happened, there was a revolt of a group of people who are extremely religious. They were able to overtake the government, killing everyone in their path and setting up their own agenda which is their interpretation of the Old Testament in the Bible. The root cause of this take over how terrible the fertility rates are around the world. They blame many things on this including food, environment, and even lifestyle. Soon, women are forced to be stripped of everything that they are outside of a man. This means they can’t work, use money, shop, or do anything without a man. The laws are strict and many pay with their lives. Women are divided into certain classes and they are expected to perform that role in society for the rest of their lives. The Handmaid is a woman who has given birth to a live child at some point, and is still fertile. A Maratha is a woman who can’t have children and become maids. Wives range from lower class to high officials. An Aunt is a woman who oversees the Handmaids, and is one of the only women legally allowed to be able to read and write. It is forbidden otherwise. Men have less of a class system, but it is still there. They have guards, drivers, lower class men, and high officials that are self proclaimed Commanders. A Handmaid only goes to the high ranking Commanders, and their wives.


One may be asking what a Handmaid does? Sadly, she is forced to live in the home of a Commander and his wife where they have a ceremony once a month. The Handmaid is  rapped by the Commander, while his wife holds her down. They are trying as a group to get pregnant, and then if there is a resulting baby, they keep it and kick the Handmaid out. They not only rape her, but then they steal her baby if she gives birth to a living child. When I said before that they strip everything away from women, this includes their name. Their real names are forbidden and while they are serving as a Handmaid they are known and addressed as part of the Commanders name. For example, June’s Commander is named Fred, so she is Offred. (Of-Fred) These women also have other roles such as shopping for groceries for the household, and the occasional stoning to death of a person who broke the law. They also are shown off, and of course treated as objects instead of humans. They have a certain amount of time to stay with a family and get preggo. If they fail to many times, then they are sent off to the Colonies. That is a place that will kill anyone who works there slowly and painfully. This is a bunch of land full of toxic waste.  These  “bad” women strip the layers of soil until they get to a point where they can use the land to plant food. But they are given nothing to protect them, so their skin, teeth, and nails fall off and the eventually die of cancer or other issues related to this job.

In this world, there is no trust and no friends. Or it least it seems that way. Every move they make is watched by  armed guards. If you have stepped one toe out of line, or seem like you did, then you are subjected to either being hung, shot, sent to the Colonies, or they disappear and no one truly knows what happened. People are taught to snitch on one another, which makes is hard for anyone to form a bond to revolt. However, the need to survive and fight is deep and is enough for underground networks to be born. There are many people who escape to Canada, which is a safe haven for anyone in this terrible world. Many people are killed trying to escape, but there are those who make it out including June’s husband Luke, and her best friend, Moria. However, both June and her young daughter, Hannah were taken. In the books, we never find out what happens to Hannah, but in the series we find that she has been adopted in a home,  and will be a handmaid when she is old enough.

In the book, we hear this tale through a recorder many years in the future. This whole story is part of a discussion from people around the world, trying to understand this terrible stain of the past. They are trying to keep from repeating the same mistakes.  One may point out that June is an unreliable narrator since we only hear her story. However, there are countless recordings from other people who can back several things up. They just can’t find records of June or her family ever existing. That doesn’t mean anything, but can we trust everything that June says to be true?  I think the readers and the viewers fell a connection with June and tend to take her at her word. We get small clues in the series that this is also a story that is being told from a future point in time.

There are so many ups and downs involved in this story that it is almost hard to keep watching. However, it brings up so many themes that we need to discuss as a society. It’s so hard because it’s holding a mirror up to our world and seeing that we don’t like what we see, and what could be. For the next post, I will be going into more details and thoughts about specific issues, but I think it’s important to really understand the material before going into the issues of the terrible things brought up in this story. It’s not a story for many women, it’s real life, and that is horrific.

 

What do you think? Leave your comments  with #hmt