Regarding Furbabies

People always say that loving a pet is not the same as loving a child.
Bullshit. I have both a child and many pets.

I love them all so very much.
Now, I do not treat my animals like children. I do not drop them off at school and have teachers meetings or report cards. My animals do not have chores, and I don’t expect them to pick up after themselves although that would be amazing.

I do however feed and nurture both my child and pets multiple times a day. I discipline bad behavior and encourage and cheer on the good.
I say goodnight and have a bedtime routine.
I take care of them when they are sick, including treating them with medicine and giving cuddles and hugs.
I comfort them when they have nightmares(my dog has good dreams and bad ones and talks in her sleep)
I have been woken in the night by both animals and child because they needed the bathroom or they just needed to cuddle in bed with mom.
I bring them to the doctor to make sure they are healthy. I fear their surgeries. I take care of them afterwards as I have done after Gabe’s surgeries.
And I am heartbroken at the death or loss of my fur babies. I would be devastated if it was my human child, and have thankfully only loss the fur ones.

So OK, no, I did not birth a rat, cat, or pitbull from my vagina. But the list above sure sounds like parenting to me.

And, if you read that list and have pets that you do not treat this way, frankly, you shouldn’t have them. If you are unwilling to take that animal into your home and do those things please don’t get the animal and instead let it go to someone who will treat it that way and treat that beautiful baby the way it deserves to be treated.

Hug those furred and unfurred babies,

Amber Rose

Perspective

I have quite a lot of musicals on my iPod and on CD. My son is always singing songs that he has either heard from me or from my collection.

One day I hear singing coming out of my son G’s room. He was 5 at the time, and is sitting on the floor, playing with legos and singing “Singing in the Rain”
I think its totally adorable. I start to melt, thinking about how cute he looks while he is singing.

My at the time boyfriend walks down the hall to join up.
He starts to shudder.

Depending on where you know the song from, either Singing in the Rain or Clockwork Orange, a tiny child singing to himself in an empty room is either very cute or extremely creepy.

That’s when I realized its all about what you are a fan of, or more importantly, your perspective. Are tiny, singing children cute? Do they cause you to perspire from fear?
Where do you know your music from? Is that glass half-full, half-empty, or causing you to question which child drank half your drink and left the rest?

At least there’s room for vodka,

AmberRose

Why I am a “No Nudie”

This is a blog post from another blog I have. It is under a different name. It is a blog in fact I believe most my friends and family are completely unaware of. This is because of its more adult content.

Usually I wouldn’t cross-share a post, however this one seemed like an important post to share.

“Why I don’t post nudes.

This might seem like a strange forum to talk about not displaying nudity.
I do not have any moral objection to nudism. In fact, the moment I can at home I shed my clothes and prance around naked. One of my favorite nighttime routines is standing in front of the wood stove, feeling the heat on my uncovered skin.

No, my reason for not brandishing it all for the world to see is completely personal.

It took me 30 years to learn to love my body. 30 years to find beauty in every curve, scar, mole, freckle and yes, even stretch marks.
I find so much beauty in my few grey hairs. They are like glittery highlights.

So how can I allow you, just an anonymous human, to look upon the beauty of my naked body? How can I trust that you will see and love my body for the work of art it is?
You see me for a mere second, and bam, in that instant, you have already made your judgment. You don’t know the battle that created those scars. The love of the ocean, sand and heat that caused those freckles. The mole on my leg is just a mark. Not something that has been with me since birth. And you don’t know the child that I sacrificed my stomach for and won those silvery tiger stripes.

No, if you want to see me, and  behold the beauty of my soft velvet skin, and pillowy white round mounds under my blouse, you must work up to it. Worship me as the Goddess I am. And when you are ready, (I will know when you are ready) you will see me, for who I truly am.”

Hope you enjoyed! I feel the message is important. Love and worship your body. The world doesn’t need to see it because strangers will never love it as much as your body should be loved.

Be careful who you are sending photos to, make sure they are worthy of you putting yourself out there!

Accounts get hacked, photos get stolen. I am not telling you to not post your beautiful bod, (unless you are under 18 and then YES I am telling you DO NOT send or post that nude!) I am asking you to proceed with caution and use that beautiful brain that is just as incredible as your body.

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Help your Veterans

Panic. I am filled with panic.
I shouldn’t be, but emotions don’t exactly do what they are told.

I have the urge to write, but no inspiration.
I had the idea for a funny post, but then I logged online and read that 200 more troops are being sent to Iraq.

This has sent me into a tale spin.
200 more men and women being sent out. Who will see horrific things. Who will come back, possibly broken inside and out.

They won’t get the help they need. They won’t go out and seek it, because they are trained to be warriors from the start.
They are warriors, and they battle things internally that those of us who have never seen war cannot comprehend.

I sit here, clutching my necklace, a folded flag design that profits went to support helping veterans battling depression. I do not know if this is true, but that is what I was told when I was given the necklace.

I am very emotionally tied to the subject of war in the US. I am going to push those feelings and opinions far down to the firey pit deep inside me.
These soldiers are adults, they have made their choice.

All I ask, please, please care for them when they come back. Care for these souls the way you claim to. Don’t do it fake, don’t plaster your chain store with items that the sales somehow get back to the  Veterans Hospital. Don’t plaster your Facebook wall or car bumper, claiming you “Support Our Troops”

Help. Get out there and help. Give a job to that struggling Vet who got back and is undergoing treatment. Help the soldier you know is struggling deep inside.
Lead them to the services they need if you can.
And for god sakes, say something. If you see or suspect that anyone around you could possible commit suicide, say something. The absolute worse thing you can do is  stay silent. The person may be upset at you for a while, but if you happen to stop their attempt, you have kept them here. There is always help. It can always get better.

Alex, I miss you every day.

AmberRose

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Excuses, excuses

Please excuse the absence. I have had a huge case of writers block that is looming over me like a dark cloud. I have been blank for over a week now and being left completely uninspired is actually quite exhausting to a person.
I have a class tomorrow and hopefully will have some time Sunday devoted to coming up with a topic I can write more than a few sentences about.

In the mean time, I am going to curl up in bed, watch Always Sunny in Philadelphia and giggle until I find sleep.

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New Roommate

My friend J moved in last night. He needs somewhere to stay for a few weeks until he can find a place. I don’t mind, we have a bedroom upstairs that is never used.

J got his first taste as to what its like living off the grid. I had to drive down the hill to meet him. He parked at the bottom. I am so thankful for the amazing car I bought. So far it has gotten us up and down safely and only twice now I almost slid into the neighbors bush. I also made it out of a ditch which was incredibly impressive!

J piled his belongings into my car and we drove back up the rollercoaster of a road.
First things first. When you enter the house, the door is incredibly awkward, and slows you down. I believe it was designed that way on purpose. See, the original owners/builders wanted a place off the grid in case the world came to an end.
When I first moved in, none of the doors had doorknobs. I had to have them installed. At first it was humorous to explain to people, but after having every visitor mention it, “Hey, did you know you don’t have door knobs?”
Yes, I noticed that. I also noticed the giant fake wooden safe in the kitchen wall too.
Yes, there is seriously a giant fake wooden safe. It covers a storage area that runs through the house. This may have been for storage, but it could have been a place to hide considering the way its covered, and the two door knob less awkward mudroom set up would slow down intruders.
So far, we have discovered 5 hidden areas in the house, but have only physically been in 4 of them.

I explained to J the layout of the house, about the secret rooms, how we have to boil the water for one minute before we can drink it and keep jugs of water in the fridge.
I showed him the wood stove, the tech room(this houses the solar batteries, and all the important stuff that runs the windmill and solar panels)and how to work the generator in case we ever lose power.

J met the pets and then we just hung out for a bit.
It’s great to have another set of hands here, and J will be able to watch the pets when I take G and two friends to Great Escape later in May for his birthday.

The snow from the freak storm on Monday is starting to melt. There are blossoms on trees that glisten with a light frost.
Two birds are chasing each other across my lawn, their bright red bellies stand out against the white snow.
Soon there will be  the sound of peeping baby birds when I walk past the wood shed. Damn, I am so happy I won’t have to haul wood on a daily basis 🙂
Spring is here, the time has changed and warmth will be here soon.

Think warm thoughts, friends!

AmberRose

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Sneak Preview: Dottie the Polar Bear

Edit* I just realized this is my 20th post!! Yaaay!! I am so happy to be writing again, and I am so glad that my 20th post was this preview of the Children’s Book 🙂

Off and on I have been working on a children’s book. My son loves it so much, he suggested I post a preview.
This is a very rough draft of the first part of this story. I would love feedback.

Dottie the Polar Bear Cub

Dottie the polar bear cub was completely content. She loved her home. Dottie loved climbing all the rocks. She loved climbing up to the highest point and jumping into the pool of water, making a big splash. Her mommy would get angry whenever Dottie climbed too high, but Dottie didn’t listen. It was too much fun!

Dottie also loved her blue ball. She would tackle it, jump on to it, and play catch with her daddy. She loved wrestling with her daddy and climbing on her mommy’s back.

Dottie loved feeding time too because visitors would come into her home. Dottie loved all the humans who came to play.  They usually had treats or toys. Sometimes they would poke and prod at Dottie, but the fishy treats she got afterwards for being a “good girl” always made her happy.
Her habitat also had a giant window. People would come visit, just so they could see Dottie, her mother said.

Dottie loved to make a big show for the people. Especially the little tiny humans that were her size. They wore things over their bodies that her mommy said were to keep them warm. The humans only had fur on their heads. Some of the daddy humans had hair on their faces and none on their heads. Dottie thought this was very silly.

She would walk up to the big window and make faces, throw her ball, splash the window and just be silly. Sometimes she asked the little humans to come play, but her mommy and daddy said they couldn’t come in.

One day, after Dottie had a big breakfast and lunch and a long swim she decided to walk past the window to see what humans had come to visit that day. She saw that there was no one looking in. This made Dottie sad. She decided that maybe she would go take a nap in the cave with daddy,  after all Dottie did have a big, busy morning!

Just then, Dottie heard a knock on the big window. She turned around to see a little human girl standing there, at the window, knocking. But there was something different about this girl. She had something on her paws, something bright and pink!

Dottie quickly ran across the habitat. She had to get a closer look!
Dottie walked right up to the little girl, placed her paws on the glass and called to her.

“Hey! Little human! What is that on your paws?”
The little girl giggled and called to her mommy. “Look Mommy, the baby polar bear likes me!”

Dottie knew that humans had a hard time speaking polar bear, so she tried again.

“Hey, little girl! What’s that on your paws? I like them!”
Dottie’s mother and father stuck there head out of the cave when they heard the commotion. Dottie’s mommy called to her.

“Dottie, come here! Stay away from the people!”
“No,” Dottie said.”Mommy, I want those! I want to see her paw covers!”

Dottie’s mommy came down from the cave. She circled Dottie to protect her from the crowd that was forming.

“Dottie, sweetie, you don’t need those. Humans don’t have fur or protective pads on their hands and feet. They need to wear those covers, or mittens, on their hands to protect from the cold.”

Dottie’s daddy came down from the cave.
“Dottie, you are a polar bear. We don’t wear clothes. Forget the mittens and come here, it’s nap time.”

Dottie’s mommy and daddy lead her back to the cave.
She laid down in between her mommy and daddy and started to doze. As she fell asleep, she mumbled “We’ll see about that!”
****

I would love some feedback!

AmberRose

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Bathrooms & Bare Bottoms

It’s an absolute FACT that as a parent, any time you have to use the bathroom, your child will have the sudden urge to pee the moment you sit on the toilet. Whether this effect is multiplied by the amount of children in your family, I have yet to experience. I am sure there are parents out there with 2 or more who wouldn’t mind chiming in in the comments.

One of the most exciting features in our new place was the addition of a second bathroom next to my son’s room.
G doesn’t use this bathroom though. He prefers my bathroom completely and was excited when the toilet upstairs was out of commission for a few months.

Last week my landlord fixed the bathroom, and I was so excited to have my bathroom back to myself!

The following happened moments ago.
I was washing my hands afterwards when the door opens, HARD, right into my side.
“OW! What the fudges?”
I try very hard not to swear, as my kiddo is at the age of dropping fowl language into everyday conversation. I am absolutely OK with using words to enhance your vocabulary and using swears correctly. Drop something super heavy on your foot or slam your hand in the car door? Go ahead and swear!
However lately G has been dropping Fucks and Shits in normal everyday conversation. Last night I took a picture of my little almost 10 year old sitting on the couch while I was completely lost in thoughts of how quickly he has grown when my kiddo decided to flip the camera the bird.
That behavior awarded him emptying and filling the dishwasher and unloading a stack of wood from the wheelbarrow himself.

“Sorry!” G said through the crack in the door, dancing around “I really have to pee!!”
Usually I would have opened the door and let him sneak by, but we have a perfectly good bathroom upstairs!
“We have a second bathroom!” I yelled.
“Oh, yeah!” G exclaimed running away.

I washed the soap bubbles from my hands and scrubbed my face.
I left the bathroom and entered the living room…. To see my son’s bare butt sticking through the sliding glass doors to the backyard.
G turned around and made eye contact with me, clearly busted.
“Don’t judge.” He said, pulled up his sweatpants and walked away.

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Human First.

Today I rode a pitbull. This happens every now and then and usually takes place in the kitchen.
My doggy Rhiannon, also known as Monkey, is a beautiful, sweet dog I adopted in October. She has caramel fur with white fur on her chest and down her red nose.
Rhia was abused poorly before she found her way to our home. Her body shows her struggle, she has clearly given birth many times.
  I was unsure about having such a big dog at first, but then the first night here she chased a bear from our yard. After that, she was welcome to stay.

Rhiannon loves to cuddle. She sleeps under the covers and will tuck herself in. If my son is upset and having a melt down, she will immediately go to his side, place her front legs around him and won’t stop hugging until he is calm
Rhia always knows when someone is in need of comfort, and knows a fake! We’ve experimented.

Rhia also has a skin condition that is very common for her breed. I have found that adding more fish oil to her diet along with coconut oil helps her skin immensely. She finally has hair growing on her stomach. All the hair on her face has grown back as well. We also bath her once a week in Dove body wash. I had tried lotions and creams and they just didn’t work well enough. I tried putting the coconut oil on her face and she licked it all off.
The only problem is that its hard to get Rhia to take the fish oil pill.

I have tried to hide it in foods. She learned that any cheese has a pill in it and unfolds it quickly, leaving the pill.
I started to switch up the food in which we stuffed. Soon, she just started to eat the food and spit out the pill.
I learned that she needs to chew crunchy food, so for a while homemade dog safe crackers stuffed with coconut oil worked great for stuff with the pills. We were great for a while, until today.

I looked at my dog, who had just taken the pills out of the crackers, then out of a pizza crust. The only thing around me was a lone fortune cookie on the counter from last nights take-out Chinese dinner.
I unwrapped and  cracked the cookie, pulled out the paper and stuffed each side with a pill.
I cupped Rhia’s mouth gently, and gave her the cookie. She happily chopped it up with my hands on either side of her brown muzzle.
And then she spit out both pills.

I couldn’t take it anymore!
I put one leg on each side of her 80 lb muscular frame, pride open her mouth and threw both pills in before she slammed it shut. I held her muzzle closed gently, while she chomped, backing slowly down the kitchen past the wooden island. I rode along on my tip toes (I’m only 5’2″), making sure not to hurt her.
“Swallow the pill, Monkey! Swallow the damn pill!”
I held on until she swallowed and then dismounted.

After, I looked into her beautiful butterscotch eyes and threw her a slice of pepperoni. Then I looked at her and did a little dance and sang her a song. She wagged her tail and danced along with me. Then she did a circle and left the kitchen.

I looked down at the counter and saw the fortune.

“LEARN CHINESE – Delicious”
How appropriate.
I giggled and flipped it over.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

One of my absolute favorite quotes is this;

” You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

I have always hoped that some day I would be in a place where I could make a difference.
But I always believed that the only way to make any kind of difference was to help as many as I could all in one big action.
Perhaps this was a total lapse in my thinking. Maybe our actions don’t need to be large. Maybe we can all start small.

The next time you pass someone homeless on the streon, start small. Don’t turn away. Don’t feel you need to offer money. Understand that acknowledgement and interaction is just as important. Hand them a sandwich. Buy an extra $1 coffee and hand it to the next face you see that surely needs a cup. You all are so keen to pay it forward in the Starbucks line, instead help the person who couldn’t even afford a small cup.

I have another quote I use often. It’s sad,  but unfortunately one of the truest things I have seen in this world.

“For only the poor help the poor”

Only those who have known the sting of hunger and poverty, these are the people out there truly making a difference.

I have seen people who have $3 left in this pocket and a bank account in the negative feed all the children in the apartment building dinner every night.
I have seen desperate people sell their medications to keep the heat on and their babies warm.
I have heard of a mom, working an 18 hour shift at a waffle house, with her 2 year old baby boy, asleep in the kitchen on top of boxes.
I have seen parents who both work having to pick up a second job to afford daycare.
I have seen a homeless man go hungry so he could feed his dog.

I have also seen millionaires on TV rant about the laziness of those on welfare.
I have seen a trust fund hippie drive past a woman and child, stranded, with a car stuck in a snowbank, in his plow truck but slow down long enough to say he can’t assist because of insurance reasons.
I have seen rich landlords who tell single moms that there are other ways to pay when their behind on rent.
I have watched Senate members, earning $174,000 per year complain about a 1% budget spending on 52.2 million people (only 1/5th of the US population) receiving $10,000 per year.

Now, obviously there are wonderful people on both sides just as there are those who take advantage and set a bad example.

I have always been that person to say “I want to help someday” or “I hope i will make a difference”
Instead of all this waiting, instead of wanting to start large, instead start small.

Buy an extra coffee, or another pack of socks and donate it to a local shelter (new socks are rarely donated and thrown away if used. This is the most needed item of clothes.)
Grab a water for that guy who is standing outside all day in the hot sun, earning shit pay.
Tell that nice kid who held the door open for you “Thank you” and how much you appreciate their manners.
Spread these actions, large or small. Tell that person who isn’t smiling that you love something about them or on their outfit. Make an extra brown bag lunch and drop it off for that person you pass every day that needs a meal.
These interactions are so important. It’s how we build these connections and take care of our own.  Religion, Race, Sex, Sexual Orientation, none of this matters. What does matter is our humanity. So many of us are suffering and if we continue to turn a blind eye to this, what will we ignore next?
Help your fellow person.
Remember, you are Human first.

I am announcing the start of a new project. I have been mulling over this idea for a few months now and considering the direction politics are moving in the US, now seems like the perfect time.
Once a month I am going to interview a person living under the welfare umbrella label. I will post their story and their interview.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to end the stigma.

If you are on any welfare services and would like to be interviewed anonymously by me, please send an e-mail to AmberGriffis@mail.com

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Paradise

Today my landlord stopped by.
He lives in NYC as a city planner. He bought the home I am currently renting, online, and for quite a bargain. Some day it will be his retirement home. Until then, I am free to rent it.
The place is beautiful, open floor planning. Windows and open spaces, high ceilings, bare refurbished beams.
I couldn’t be more thankful to rent such an incredible place.

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I needed to take. A 2 year break, living off the grid, away from crowded living spaces, depressing shabby apartments with paper thin walls, and poverty stricken neighborhoods with shouting, angry neighbors, where people sell their medications just to help pay the bills and buy groceries.
The environment was making me sick. I was stressed, exhausted, and in pain. I no longer felt safe in my own home.

My current landlord responded to an ad I posted. I told our story, talked about what we were looking for and how much we could afford. Like my son’s father, he also served in the military. He told me about the place, explained it was a little unusual and not for the weak.
I drove out to see the house with my dad, my son and his friend D who calls me her second mom.
The road was frightening. Ups and downs, quick turns and a huge drop!
My dad looked at me, clutching the “oh shit” handle on my Saturn and said through clenched teeth
” There is NO WAY you can live out here!”
I knew he was right. How could I live out so far in the middle of the woods? My car was on its last leg (even though it had JUST had $4000 in repairs) and I am not exactly the most fit individual.
Silently, however, I held close hope that the house would be perfect and everything would work out.
Just down the road from this place I was looking to rent, my son’s paternal grandparents had lived. I had lived there for 3 years. This was the house I lived in my entire pregnancy. This was the house my son came home from the hospital to at 3 months old. This was also the house that my son’s father would die in unexpectedly.
The house is now for sale, his family moved from it almost two years ago now.
A part of me wanted to be close to him, where we lived together first.
The other part wanted to be as far away as possible.

We pulled into the driveway and immediately had the same reaction, the one every person who has come to visit for the first has had. Jaws dropped.
The open space, the huge, towering trees, bright skies, the flowers, giant windmill and solar panels, we all thought the same thing.
And so, the little blue house got its nickname: Paradise.

I have now lived here, in Paradise, for 6 months. I have lost 60lbs. I have less stress and certainly handle it far better. No more panic attacks or stress seizures. I feel happier surrounded by nature.
Make no mistake, I adore tall buildings and people watching. New York City may be my favorite place in the world. My landlord and I spend quite a lot of time talking about Manhattan. My mom grew up there and spent the Summer in Lake George or Long Island. My landlord grew up quite the opposite from my Mother. He lived in Hell’s Kitchen, around the Irish section and the pubs. We talk about our favorite sites. He tells me what I can skip and what not to miss. He also offered me a chihuahua named Summer. I said I’d think about it.

I needed a reset. A place to get away from the chaos and misery that is slowly breaking down society. I needed to get in touch with myself again.

My son has also blossomed incredibly here. He loves to climb trees and run around outdoors. G has been obsessed with gemstones, minerals and fossils from a very young age. He loves finding and bringing in beautiful or unique stones. Our house must have stones and rocks in every room that G has found during a walk.

Now, there have absolutely been issues with living off the grid. It is not for the faint. There has been many a morning where I wake up freezing at 3 am and need to turn on the generator to get the power back on. Hauling wood is a daily activity. I also learned quickly that its easier to keep a fire always going than it is to keep starting a fire over and over.
We burn everything paper because it cuts down on garbage but also is useful for kindling. We can’t throw out food because it attracts wild life.

There have been hard times. I once slipped on black ice and broke ribs because I was too busy telling my son to be careful and to not slip on the ice. Try lugging wood with broken ribs! Ouch.

That’s the only downside to mountain living when you are the only adult. If you get hurt, the house still needs to stay warm or you all freeze. All those chores, hanging laundry, stacking and lugging wood, keeping the solar panel batteries filled with distilled water, this all needs to keep going no matter what condition you are in.

I will most likely never live like this again, at least certainly not on my own.
For now though, this is exactly where I need to be.

Peace to you all from this hermit on a mountain top,

AmberRose

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