Thirty Days of Thanks, Day Twenty-Three

I have two kids at home. They rely on me to feed them and keep them warm and love them unconditionally.

So what if they have fur and walk on all fours?

Yep, my kiddos are my dog and my cat. Two adorable pets that we adopted. One beagle-shepherd mix (Kozzy) who’s absolutely adorable, but not necessarily the sharpest tool in the shed. And one black cat (Yami) who likes to¬†think she’s the brightest crayon in the box.

The two of them, though not the kind of kids I thought I’d have, are my children.

I’m so thankful to have them in my life.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my third furbaby, Rain. Especially since it was Thanksgiving weekend when we had to let her go. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her …

Like the Deserts Miss the Rain

A year ago on the 28th of November, Hubby & I drove back to our Chicago apartment after spending a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with our family. Upon arriving home we found our 20-year old cat, Rain lying right by her empty water container. She was meowing weakly, but incessantly, letting us know that she was not feeling well.

The last time she was that vocal was when she had fractured her femur and was in a lot of pain. But that time, we knew that she was “fixable” and a large amount of cash later … she was healed and back to her usual self.

This time … well, this time we knew. We knew she was becoming diabetic. We knew that she was slowly going into renal failure. But we also knew that she was well past her life expectancy for a medium-haired, domestic runt of a cat.

So we did what we thought would be best for her. We took her to an emergency vet clinic, who confirmed that Rain had gone into acute renal failure. We were told her prognosis was bad. So sadly, Hubby & I made the decision to let her go peacefully.

And even though I was devastated by this event, I would later find out that Rain had inadvertently given me a gift. She gave me the gift of acceptance to know when to let go of the ones I love so that they can pass onto the next world.

And that gift proved to be valuable over the next week as I learned to accept the inevitable passing of my Dad.

Rain … I know that this past year I’ve spent mourning the loss of your Grandfather. But know that not a day goes by that I don’t miss the unconditional love you provided. You will … and always will be my first and favorite “furbaby.”


I Remember

Hi! How was your Thanksgiving weekend, readers? And for my neighbors to the north, hope you were able to cash in on some of the US’s “Black Friday” deals … or do you even have any sales like that for the day after the US’s Thanksgiving holiday? Yes, I’m just being curious.

My Thanksgiving weekend was good: Got to spend time with Hubby’s family on Turkey Day. And on the weekend, managed to eek out a few great savings from Black Friday; both locally and at the “big box” shops. But the point is, I managed to check off a few people off my Christmas list.

More importantly, my favorite college football team managed to win the all-important “Biggest Rivalry in College Football” game. AND we got to watch the game at a bar & grill, hanging out with my two cousins.

These two girls — the youngest of my Dad’s nieces (and close to 20 years younger than me!) — have seriously been the support I’ve needed this past year while dealing with my Dad’s passing. Maybe it’s because, like me, Dad had played an important part in their lives; many times being the father-figure that they’ve needed. And as we talked throughout that day, I somehow managed to remember how much my Dad’s passing has affected them as well.

I forgot how my Dad would stick up for them if their mothers (my Dad’s sisters) gave them problems. I forgot how Dad would manage to sneak them some cash when he thought no one was looking. I forgot how much he loved to play with them, and as they got older, joke around with them. I forgot.

So to my two cousins, who miss my Dad as much as I miss him … know that I remember and that I’m forever grateful that you two always manage to check up on me when I need it most.


And Rain? Don’t worry, my darling kitty. I didn’t forget about today either. I can never forget the day that I lost my first and most favorite kitty in the world. Hope you’re up there keeping Dad company ….


Hangin’ with the Furkids

I’ve been so busy with work lately that I haven’t had time to write a proper post. So instead, I think you guys’ll get a nice little pictorial of what me and the furkids have been up to lately.

Besides, I recently got an awesomely new “point n’ shoot” camera from Hubby (!!!). And I like to take pictures. Lots of pictures. Especially since we now live in the digital age.

Read more »

No More Rain

Twenty years of unconditional love & affection …



Twenty years of knowing *exactly* the right moment to cheer me up …



Twenty years of being my eldest fur-child … one of three that would be my only “kids”



You were my first cat … and will always be my “Rain”-bow after the storm.



Today, I lost a bit of my heart …



And you will be missed every single day.



Rest in Peace, Rain.
You’ve given us twenty incredible years.




Related Posts:

Rain, Don’t Go Away (Part Un)

Please Stay Another Day (Part Deuce)

My Furbaby Can Vote!

Our (Mutt of a) Family



Fickle Facebook

Oh, Facebook … why do you tease me so? You are a fickle friend who loves to simultaneously bring me closer to family and friends I haven’t seen in ages … and make me feel insanely alone. Especially when seeing “First Day of School” pics or status updates from everyone.

Okay, so I exaggerate a bit. What can I say? I was in the Drama Club in high school.

And truth be told, I love seeing all the cute pictures of the kids; especially as I get to see how much bigger and older they’ve gotten since the last pictures of them were posted.

But yet, there’s the little part of me that feels those tiny daggers stabbing away at my core. The sad thing is … well, I’m not quite sure if my “core” is my barren uterus. Or my heart.

Bit by bit, those daggers are disappearing from my heart … and I’m feeling less envious of those family & friends who have become parents. Rather, I’m beginning to be more accepting of where I am in my life and which path my life is taking me.

What an enormous leap from where I was two years ago, eh?

Anyway, I figured since most people are posting pics of their kids on this first day of school, I should post some of mine. Well, my furbabies anyway!


Hubby & I bought our 2002 Subaru Legacy Outback with the idea that we’d have this “wagon” for our future children.

Never mind that we had already been on the infertility roller coaster for more than three years by then. And that I was heading into my first laparotomy to clear out some of that nasty endo stuff. Nevermind that we pretty much knew by then that IVF was in our near future.

We just wanted to have a nice reliable “family” type car to own so we’d be able to share memories of road trips with the kids like both of us remembered growing up.

And as we all know, that dream never came into fruition. Well, at least the “kids” part.

Anyway, around the time Hubby & I got our Outback, these car stickers began to pop up on minvans and SUV’s everywhere. They were the kind of clear car stickers that you could place on the rear window and peel off, if you ever needed to. And on these stickers were “stick figures” of all the family members that lived in the particular car-owner’s household. You know, Dad followed by Mom plus how-ever-many kids they had … and even whatever pet they had.

They still have those stickers today; except now you can customize it to whatever you’d like. You can have Dad be a “golfer” while Mom is a “nurse” (or worse … at least for me, pregnant!); and you can have kids be “dressed” in whatever activities they’re involved with (sports, scouts, etc.).

And as much as I began to despise those car stickers (especially in the later years of our IF journey), I must admit that I’ve always wanted to have one.

Of course, our sticker wouldn’t have any children on there; it would only have Hubby & I in our “custom” outfits. And of course we’d have to add our fur-children. So I looked online to see what they had available and was pleasantly surprised to see just how much we could customize them.

Hubby's the "Comic Book" guy and I'm just a fashionista ...

I haven’t ordered one; nor do I think I ever will … because geesh! They seem ridiculously expensive for stick figures … but, it was fun imagining what our rear window would have looked like.


It’s a sad day here in the ApronStrings household. We just found out that one of our cat-nieces passed away today at the age of 19.

Mocha was an adorable kitty who absolutely loved to play fetch with you. You could crumple up a small piece of paper and throw it across the room … and she’d find it and bring it back to you.

She’d been my brother’s cat throughout the years of grad school and med school; keeping my brother company as he moved around. And although she didn’t love the fact that there was a new “woman” in Dr. Bro’s life … she learned to live with Dr. SIL all the same. And then she learned to live with a new sister-kitty, Sophia … and eventually “tolerated” her two younger (but definitely bigger) greyhound brothers.

Despite all these changes, Mocha remained a feisty cat. She never loved to be carried (except by Dr. Bro, of course) but loved to paw at you while sitting next to her. And even though I won’t miss being scratched at or bitten when attempting to pet her during one of her “moods”, I will miss her dearly.

RIP, Mocha girl … you’ll be missed a latte!

Wag More, Bark Less

As much as I love sunny days, especially in the midst of Winter or during the last days of Autumn, there is something about overcast days that I love. Particularly when it’s a warm day outside.

It reminds me of our honeymoon to Hawaii in early September. It was still quite warm outside, but there tends to be more chance of a tropical rain. And me lovey my warm summer rain falls.

Lookee here, Kozzy!

During that honeymoon trip, a local taught us one of the best weather-telling tips ever. We were told that once the wind starts to pick up, that it’s a tell-tale sign that rain is on its way. And to this day, this tip has proven to be accurate.

Overcast weather is good for another thing … and that’s taking pictures. It’s as if the clouds act as a natural “filter” to enhance the colors around nature. Not that I’m much of a photographer, but I love to take pictures outside during these moments.

In any case … today was one of those days in Detroit. Sunny in the morning; but increasingly overcast as the afternoon rolled on. It hasn’t quite started to rain yet, but that wind is kicking up. So it’s a good thing I picked up our Kozzy-girl from her day at the Spa before it begins to rain.


I got an email today from the recruiter of one of the two jobs I was interested in. The one in which I’d have a similar role to the one I recently had, with the ability to do it from home. And unfortunately, I did not make the cut to interview with the department.

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am; as I thought I might have had a fighting chance. I mean, any other time I’ve applied and interviewed for a job, I’ve been relatively successful in being able to present myself. I may have not gotten the job, but I felt good about the interview anyway. And this time, I didn’t even get to the interview in order to “sell” myself and my talents.

Take Two ... Kozzy finally looks up!

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m being forced to find a new job, but right now I feel as if the world is out to get me; to kick me down when the going gets rough.

Realistically, I should know not to let one rejection affect me so much. And realistically I know that I shouldn’t let one person‘s feelings or vindictiveness get the best of me. Yet, it does … despite how much I try not to.


While running errands this afternoon, Hubby and I stumbled upon a bumper sticker that said “Wag More, Bark Less.” And the mere thought of the meaning behind such a saying made me smile, despite feeling so down.

When I picked up Kozzy this evening, I couldn’t help but witness her lovable demeanor (at least to us); all full of boundless energy and happiness, especially the minute she spotted me. It’s as if she wanted to tell me everything that happened to her during her “Spa Day,” all with the simple wag of her tail and nudge of her head up against my thigh.

Kozzy shows off her "new" look ... For those that asked, she's half-shepherd and (we think) half-beagle or half-labrador

The best I can describe it to someone who might not know what I mean … it would be like an excited 18-month old toddler who can barely speak, run up to his/her “Mommy” or “Daddy” and clutch his/her parent’s thigh tightly while babbling upwards at them incoherently.**

The best part of that moment? Seeing Kozzy’s new “look.” And even though she has never been a frou-frou dog, Kozzy proudly displayed her new fashionista style to me. And once back home, she promptly decided to drop down in the grass and roll on her back to her heart’s content. All without uttering a single bark. All while proudly wagging her tail.

It’s a lesson to be learned; that bumper sticker and my Kozzy moment. I suppose despite the circumstances of what has happened to us over the past month … I should take a page out of Kozzy’s book.

I should wag more. And I should definitely bark less.


** Not that I have first hand experience in that, but I’ve been witness to many moments like that; especially recently.

A Folgers Moment

Hubby & I are back in Michigan for a few days; and I must admit that it’s good to be home. Especially after the past couple of weeks, post-employment.

Would LOVE this view with my Morning Java ...

I won’t lie. I’ve been completely stressed out over the unemployment issue. Between Hubby not getting paid in a timely manner (despite working non -stop on multiple jobs for the past few weeks) and me not bringing any income … we’ve been up late and night worrying about finances. And my job hunt has been painstakingly slow (well, at least in my eyes anyway).

So being in Michigan … and not having to be back to return on Monday to a non-existent job … has been nice. Minus the multiple loads of laundry we’ve brought back with us and cleaning up around the house we now consider our “home away from the city”, we should be able to relax … even for just a little bit.

We came home yesterday afternoon in time for Tyler’s Confirmation; where Hubby was given the honor of being his Sponsor. Afterward, we spent time at the In-Laws trying to convince Kairi that we were, indeed the same Auntie & Uncle she visited earlier in April. And after dinner, we spent time trying to sharpen Tyler’s Scrabble skills by playing a couple of games. So by the time we arrived back at our house, it was pretty late and it took all of a few moments before the dog was fed and we were in bed for the night.

Hubby & I crashed so hard that when the alarm I set on my phone went off this morning, I picked my phone up and “answered” it. And while I admittedly slept well in our wonderful non-IKEA queen-sized bed … I have to admit that I woke up feeling stressed. It’s as the minute my eyes opened, my mind bypassed neutral and went straight into overdrive.

Yeah. I’m that pitiful.

In any case, after a few moments of tossing and turning in bed I got up to take a very anxious Kozzy out for her morning business. After all, If I couldn’t calm myself down … the least I could do was calm Pacey McPacer down. So I took puppy-girl and headed out our front door. As she did her business next to a couple of bushes on our front lawn, I sat on our porch to take in the morning air. Then Kozzy decided to do the same thing; laying on the grass to bathe in the morning sunshine. It was … the most relaxing moment I’ve had in a looong time.

And because I had to share the moment with my best friend, I went back in and grabbed Hubby. We sat there for a spell, taking in the sights and sounds of a beautiful Sunday morning and absorbing the tranquility of our surrounding. No trains passing by in the distance, no traffic down the street … no taxis honking at the cars in front of them. Other than the sounds of birds chirping and the slight breeze passing by, it was so quiet.

A Couples Massage would be nice right about now ...

Unfortunately, we had places to be by lunch so we reluctantly went back in. Even Hubby agreed that it was a nice calming moment … saying that the only thing that would make it better is if we could go to the spa and get a massage**. And I couldn’t have agreed with him more!

But wow … what a perfect way to collect our thoughts and start the day. If I could find away to capture that moment and relive it every morning, I totally would. But then I guess this wouldn’t be a moment I’d be able to treasure forever.

I wouldn’t be able to document my own personal “Folgers Moment” …


** The irony? Our Kozzy-girl is the one with a Spa Day. She gets to go to the groomer tomorrow and get a bath and her nails trimmed … or, as I’ve been calling it, a “Pedi-Pedi”! Is it wrong that I’m jealous?!

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