The Rosie Bee

Starring Grizzy and Sophie

Two-fur Tuesday: The hallway

A little two-fur Tuesday!

griz and sophiekitty Chillin' in the hallway

Chillin’ and surveying their kitty kingdom (aka, the outer hallway).

griz and sophiekitty Chillin' in the hallway2

View from my doorway.

One of the tinies* favorite things to do is hang out in the hallway. I am lucky to live in a place where most people are OK with my cats getting a little exercise and fresh air, if you will, with me supervising them. They usually bolt inside when a door opens, but there is one door (not the one pictured) and family that they are used to. It’s the unit/family with Sophie’s favorite doormat. She always wants to get inside but suffice to say, that’s not gonna happen. 🙂

I think it’s so funny how they’ll cry to go out there and then they just lay down and chill. I imagine they are surveying their extended kingdom? I seriously think of big cats in the African veldt. It makes me smile.

Looking at these pictures also makes me feel a bit melancholy. I will be leaving this place in the near-ish future, probably by the end of summer. Maybe not that near, but considering tomorrow is March…

Truthfully, I never expected to be here so long. I figured I’d buy a condo at some point, and while I did look into it, it never felt like the right time. Plus, up until last year my rent was very, very reasonable, especially considering the amenities and location. In a way, it breaks my heart to leave but I suppose that’s when I need to think of all the memories made here. I also suppose it will help if I think of the summer heat. My place is like an oven come June, July, and August. 🙂

It’s time to move on. For what my rent has been increasing to, it makes more sense to buy. (I don’t plan on buying anything this year, but plans are in the works to do so in the next year or two.)

I’m the tenant with the most seniority; I’ve seen some units have four–possibly more–tenants. The door Sophie and G are in front of? New folks are moving in next month–that will be *at least* the fourth time it’s been rented. People move in, people move on. And really, a home is where family is. So long as my small fries are with me, I think I can make most any place a home.

Thank you for indulging me in my little spurts of introspection! It’s definitely a process, one I didn’t expect to go through. I guess once you live in a place a while, it grows on you.

*I seem to have a few nicknames to describe the kitties: “tinies,” or “the tinies,” “small fries,” “babies,” “baby honeys,” etc.

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Thankful Thursday: Ode to an apartment

First off, I am thankful that I am finally starting to feel better! It’s taken two rounds of antibiotics (and I haven’t taken antibiotics in years) and countless decongestants but I finally feel like I’m over the hump. It’s nice.

Second, and more importantly, I’m thankful for these two small fries.

Sophiekitty and Grizzy on the couch

Evening catnaps.

Last night we had a quiet evening at home and I was so tickled that they both got up on the couch to be close to me. It was so relaxing.

Times like these are especially precious to me because I know moving is in my fairly near future. I’m not sure if I’ll sign one more short-term lease or not, but I am 98% certain I won’t be there another full year. It’s tough, because I absolutely love where I live but for a few reasons, it’s time to move on. I never quite understood how people on HGTV got so attached to their homes. More than that, I’ve had friends sell their homes because they wanted/need more space, a better location, etc., etc. Point is, they wanted out of their homes and right away, yet when push came to shove they had such an attachment to it. Like, whaaa? I thought you couldn’t wait to get out of your house!

I need to write a longer post on this (I’m still catching up on everything from being sick), but suffice to say, I will miss my place when I move. Sometimes I wish for a little more light, sometimes I wish for a little more kitchen storage space, sometimes I wish for a little less heat and a little more moisture. But overall, I’ve been so happy there and now I’m starting to tear up a bit thinking about what this space has meant to me, not so much materially, but personally and what having my own space has done for me. A space where I was able to grow and become independent and decide what I wanted – and want – out of my life. A space where I could have my own little family with my kitties…first Rosie, then Sophie and Grizzy. A space where so many days I’ve woken up and thought “I’m so happy to be here.”

I’ve definitely been blessed.

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Thankful Thursday

Oh, January, how you got away from me.

Literally, January was me being sick. I’m still sick, in fact; can’t hear out of my left ear. I’ve an appointment with a specialist next week, although I hope my ear feels better before then. (I’m on antibiotics.)

A friend of mine who had not been well for some time passed away last week. It made me realize how fast time can get away from me and how important it is to take care of yourself and try to enjoy life. On that note, I’m practicing gratitude today.

Last week I had the pleasure of going to Key West. I was sick, but I rallied (go me!). I would go there again in a heartbeat. There is definitely a tourist-y vibe there, but there’s lots of arts and crafts, a nice relaxed vibe, and it’s only 90 miles from Cuba!

Ernest Hemingway had a house there which is now a museum of sorts. While I will post a longer blog about that, I wanted to express my gratitude for being able to go there and also share one of the kitties I saw there (and trust me, there were a lot o’ gatos at Mr. Hemingway’s place). I took pictures of a few, but this guy in the gift shop was one of my favorites:

hemingwaycalicokitty1

So round and adorable!

hemingwaycalicokitty2

I must pet the kitteh.

hemingwaycalicokitty3

Catnapping in the gift shop.


It was so funny to see these cats trotting around the gift shop! Mr. Calico wasn’t the only one–they were all over–but the gift shop seemed to be his turf. He got a little salty at someone and gave a quiet “get away” hiss and moved approximately six inches over. LOL!

Most of the cats seemed like they could use a good brushing or two, but all seemed well fed. That made me happy, to know they have food and shelter. If you ever get the chance, check out Key West and all the kitties!

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Sibling love and summer dresses

Sophie and Griz hug

Sophie and Griz hug

These two small fries sat on me bed as I pulled out some summer clothes. I love that they keep me company.

In other news, I had a summer first: poison ivy! Let me tell you, this is no fun. It’s been a full week and two days (this is a week and day three). Yesterday it seemed to be better, albeit looking gross from scabbing over, but this morning it’s much puffier. Maybe parts of it are blistering? I got it pretty good so I guess I’ll give it some more time. And wear long socks next time!

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My two cuddle bugs

grizzy and sophie curled up together

Cuddle bugs

I thought it was absolutely adorable how these two curled up together. They’ve been such a comfort to me, especially with all that’s gone on the past several months. Things are definitely picking up but I have to say, I’m not as young as I used to be! It takes a lot longer to “recover” from life happenings. These guys let me know it’s OK to chill out and take my time once in a while.

What’s been going on lately:
My Toastmasters year is winding down. Two more meetings and I’ll say good-bye to my presidency. It’s been a good year, full of lots of growth and thing I’m proud of. I’m very proud of my team.

Car repairs! Don’t you just love it, every time you think you’re getting ahead something like that happens. 🙂 BUT I have a job, which means regular income, and the repair is reasonable. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a new car.

Hopefully my rent won’t go up too much. The place where I live recently transferred hands, so here’s hoping that doesn’t mean a big rent increase.

I’ve made a goal to exercise at least 30 minutes a day this month and so far, so good.

I’m really tired. Honestly, I sit down to write a decent post about what’s been going on but like right now, I’m sitting and ready to crash. Maybe it’s all the fresh air and exercise I’ve been getting? But I’m happy I’m up to one post a week, woo!

Have a great week, everyone!

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Quick update

A lot has been going on at TRB HQ. I (Susan) lost my job a month ago and have been hustling like mad to find another. Forty-some resumes submitted, several recruiters contacted, a few promising interviews, a couple really dark days, a couple freelance jobs (talk about blessings), and lots of hustling in general. On one hand, I thought “Being jobless will suck because how will I fill my days?” but on the other hand, I’ve been keeping pretty busy with searching for jobs and now the freelance. It’s nice because keeping busy with that helps keep the panicked mind at bay.

I am really hoping one of these interviews leads to an offer because we gotta eat, haha. I’ve been asking a LOT of questions during the interviews and doing a lot of research on my own. I even have my little spreadsheet complete with notes and a ratings scale. I’m looking for the right fit…but, of course, I also need a job so I’m not dismissing anything outright.

In other crazy-but-good news, I had a friend from out of state stay with me last weekend. I let her have the bed, so I hunkered down on the couch. I was touched to wake up and see these two small fries planted on me. 🙂

Sophie and Griz during W's stay

My snuggle bugs.

That’s the status here. Fingers crossed that I’m gainfully employed soon. I hope to get back to posting regularly then. No doubt, I am looking for jobs and applying daily, but it’s hard to get energy for anything else. Trying to stay positive, though. 🙂

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Word-full Wednesday: 2016, the Year I Learn to Chill

Sophie and G kitties on bed

Chillin’ in the New Year

Today is Word-full Wednesday!

One of my 2016 goals was daily meditation. I’ve started small, five minutes a day, but already I can tell a big difference. Maybe it’s the meditation that’s caused me to re-evaluate my 2016 list, or maybe it’s simply been relaxing with the kitties and truly being in the moment and enjoying it. Maybe it’s watching A Chef’s Life and the small-town life it portrays. Whatever it was, suddenly everything I set for 2016 felt too much like a workplace SMART goal. After one meditation session (haha, a lengthy five-minute “session”) I noticed how calm I felt and I realized, “This is what I want!”

This year what I really want is a sense of peace and balance for once in my life. Last year I felt like fear drove so many decisions, and I felt like I was so reactive. It’s no surprise I ended up in some incredibly stressful situations and with anxiety that was pretty much a constant companion.

This year, I want to chill the heck out. I don’t want to be so driven by fear. I want to be thoughtful in my actions and take measured risks now and then, but I don’t want to jump (or freeze) due to fear. I want to be more thoughtful in how I spend my time and what I put in my body. I want to care less what people think and more of what is right for me in decisions affecting my life.

I know life always happens and things come up, but I think if I focus on keeping a sense of peace and balance, I’ll be better able to react to these things, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Because really, who knows what 2016 will bring? Dun-dun-DUN!

That’s enough navel-gazing for one year, right? 😉 In short, less stress, more kittehs.

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Oh, 2015…

2015
This was an interesting year, to say the least. There were some big work changes (one that broke my heart and one that just about gave me an ulcer), a serious crisis of confidence, a major death, but when all was said and done, I started and ended the year at jobs I enjoy, with a roof over my head, with enough to eat, and with two healthy kitties, so that’s good.

Sophie and G curled up on the paw print blanket

A year with these two small fries; what could be better than that?

Still, I’ve learned some life lessons in 2015:

Trust your gut. See a red or even yellow flag followed with a reasonable explanation? Think twice. Sometimes it’s best to turn around before the explanations start pouring in.

Nothing is worth getting an ulcer over. My body went haywire from stress and ulcers aren’t worth it. Bodies break down on their own with age; why hasten it? (Yes, easier said than done, but not a bad reminder.)

Plan ahead. It’s never a bad idea to have a nest egg or a Plan B just in case.

Things work out. Things may not work out exactly as you’d hoped, but they will.

True friends are worth gold. I knew this already, but it deserves to be said again.


In random things:

I started reading again! I don’t have a set number of books read, but I’m excited to be reading at least one a week these days. For a good chunk of the year I couldn’t focus (stress, body out of whack) but the last quarter or so things calmed down and voila! Concentration back! Books were read!

I ran a bunch of 5Ks and one 7K. My best time was 30 minutes but I hope to get it under in 2016. Right now I don’t have a set time, but seeing a time start with a “2” would be cool.

I painted a lot of furniture. It’s such fun and very therapeutic.

I watched a lot of Boardwalk Empire (Richard Harrow ❤ ❤ ❤ ) and A Chef's Life. Also PBS and QVC. I love me some commercial-free tv that doesn't move at the speed of light.

I finally signed up for online dating, mostly to tell people "I told you so", and yeah. The experiment is still in its nascent stage, so more to come (maybe).

I freelanced, and once I got into a good rhythm/schedule, I found I really like it! (Now to learn how to make really good money at it, lol.)

I made it halfway through my first term as president of my Toastmasters group. What a learning experience. I'm told my year has been an anomaly but wow. I've had to handle a lot of sensitive situations. Good leadership experience, but I've got to admit, I enjoy giving speeches more.

In “life” events that broke my heart and changed my life
My grandma died. I don’t mean to tuck this in the middle, like it wasn’t the biggest even of 2015, because it was huge. In fact, I’m still processing it.

The whole job thing. Even now I miss the job I had at the beginning of the year. I spoke to my former boss after she left, and she said leaving broke her heart. I feel the same way. I loved what I did and I loved my team, but I didn’t love the craziness all around me. It’s sad, but it’s time to let that little bit go because I know it could never be the same; literally 95% of my team–we’re talking the larger group department here–is gone. But I’m happy to be at a place I enjoy and I look forward to a long future there. That’s definitely a very good way to start 2016.

Next year’s keywords: Balance and mindfulness. I’d like to focus on both, since I didn’t have either this year. Time to get more focused and not so reactive and frankly, I’d like to be a bit calmer and get my confidence back up where it was at the beginning of the year. I think focusing on a good balance and being mindful of keeping that balance will help.

Next year’s goals (do/see/be). A little reminder list for myself:

  • More yoga (specifically, I’d like to be able to do the ashtanga primary series on my own. I love yoga, and I enjoy my DVDs, but it’d be nice to have it be a little more “portable” and committed to memory)
  • Daily meditation
  • Canning! I will can this year!
  • More sewing (I’d like to try for four pieces)
  • Knit a sweater
  • Knock out two speeches and (finally) earn my ACS with Toastmasters
  • Visit a new-to-me state
  • Continue learning Illustrator
  • Volunteer regularly. Probably with a shelter or animal rescue.
  • Make a book of photos for 2016. I had planned to do that this year and it fell off my radar. It’s too easy to let images just sit on my phone; 2016 will be the year they are put in book format so I can enjoy them for years to come.
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    Post-holiday greetings

    The TRB team took a little break from blogging and the internets the past week, but we all hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I am one of those people who absolutely loves Christmas, but I always end up getting a touch of the holiday blues. Weird, I know. I think The Bloggess put it very nicely when she talked about weird expectations and sometimes our brains misfire. Point being, I understand it’s not always the most wonderful time of the year for people, but I do hope your time was wonderful and you took good care of yourself. 🙂

    I ended up taking care of myself by being productive yesterday! I made five gallons of laundry detergent (I think I’m set for 2016), sorted through some clothes to donate, vacuumed extensively, scrubbed by stove top coils, cooked some soup, and watched my brother hang a coat rack. I watched to learn: as I told him, I’m not 100% confident of how to find studs, when to use those butterfly/anchor hooks in drywall, etc. I knew I could try but I didn’t want to end up with a zillion holes in my wall before I figured it out. Now I know and I have a nifty new coat rack to book. More things on the walls = more room! I love it.

    Grizzy in the kitchen wanting me to pet him

    Momma, it is time to pet me!

    Grizzy is quite the baby (and I love him for that) and decided I wasn’t spending enough time with him, so he proceeded to flop down by my feet and roll around the kitchen floor. It was quite endearing. After I took my laundry soap to the basement and popped my stovetop coils back on, we settled down to watch A Chef’s Life. It’s a wonderful life, indeed.

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    Double-decker kitties

    …anxiously waiting for the snow to arrive!

    Double-decker kitties.

    Double-decker kitties.

    I hope you all had a nice weekend. This was the first weekend in a really long time where I didn’t have too much to do. It was weird to get errands done on Saturday and realize “Hey, I can take a nap.” One of my favorite things is laying down for a nap and then the cats come up and join me. I always think “It’s family nap time!” I was especially happy to get in a lot sleeping time on Saturday because I woke up feeling like death. Thankfully that passed for the most part, because on Sunday I had a concert to go to. Specifically, I was asked to tell a holiday story at my friend’s Christmas concert.

    It was really nice–there were singers, a little brass band, soloists… My mom and sister went and both commented that it was like the holiday concerts of our youth. It was at a small church and it was really nice and cozy; a lovely sense of community. A very nice time.

    I hope you had an equally nice weekend! Here’s to three-day work weeks!

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