Currently…

Linking up with Kristen & Gretch today for a What’s New With You? update.

Eating… a little bit healthy but not really. I’ve been bringing snacks to work like carrots, almonds, apples, cherries, and oatmeal (for b-fast). But there are also Doritos in my snack drawer so… #balance

Drinking… water and coffee. More so the latter. I’m going to aim for more of the former this summer. Then again, our brand new, very first Starbucks just opened in town, so… No promises…

*[edit] Listening to… the new Foo Fighters song “Run.” It came out today! If you don’t like FF I feel like our friendship might be in jeopardy… (Here’s the new song!)

Reading… The Heir & Coraline. I need to finish up The Selection Series. Also, Erin just released her Challenge 7.0 list today so you know I’m already picking out my books for July! (I’ll share those on Tuesday!)

Watching… nothing really. The Voice ended last week so K and I lost our Mon./Tues. entertainment. Now he watches Cavs games and I read at night. (Maybe I’ve watched some Bachelorette stuff. Maybe.)

Seeing… college friends ❀︎ Last month one of my college roommates was in the state (she moved to Arizona after getting married) and I drove north to have dinner with her and another college friend. We’re all in a very similar season of life right now (married a few years, no kids, working that professional grind), so it was super relaxing to just kick back and talk for +4 hours with them.

Listening to… lots of country music (like this playlist). Warm weather feels like country music, ya know? Plus Kayla and I are headed to a two-day outdoor country concert later this month and I am PUMPED.

Praying about… the world.

Raging about… the world. (More specifically, the US dumpster-fire administration.)

Dreaming about… a European vacation. Nothing in the books yet, but someday soon.

Looking forward to… our family vacation to the beach! As it turns out, my family will be vacationing at the same time as K’s family, only 20 minutes north of them. Also, this will be our first family vacation with all six of us!!

So what’s new with you?

What's New With You

You Drive Me Crazy

Or rather… I drive him crazy πŸ™‚

At the end of April I posted about our wedding anniversary and all the mushy gushy feelings I have about being married to K. Essentially y’all got the cropped and edited “good stuff.” But I’m all about keeping it real. We squabble and pick at one another daily. (Hellooooo- we work together.) I thought it’d be fun to share all the ways in which I drive Kyle batty.

Some outtakes and touch-ups from our 4 year tree pic.

(Some of these I’m trying to improve on, some of these he has to deal with because he said, “for better or worse.”)

Running things under my nails– especially his business cards. He HATES when I swipe a card off his desk and start mindlessly cleaning my nails while I talk to him.

Sliding out of the truck. K is a car maniac and it drives him up a wall when I slide out of the truck instead of using the running board. He says I’m destroying the integrity of the seat cushion by collapsing the foam. I say he doesn’t keep a vehicle long enough for it to matter.

Sleeping in. I’ve mentioned this here before, but K HATES it when I sleep in or abuse the “snooze” button. I’m working on this one- more for myself than for him, though πŸ˜‰

Not listening. In my defense, sometimes most times I’m mid-paragraph in a book and he starts to talk to me. Then again, other times I’m listening and then I get distracted. But I’m always 100% honest about it and I stop him when I’ve realized I’m no longer retaining the information. (He says that doesn’t make it ok.) I swear I’m working on this one, too.

So there we go. We’ve got good days and bad days- no one’s perfect πŸ˜‰

A Different Kind of ‘Flix

A few weeks ago, I heard about the service Pure Flix. I spoke with the lovely Leah over there to get a little more information because prior to that, I’d never heard of the streaming platform. I don’t pay for their service and they’re not paying me to write this, but I wanted to share a little about them because I think it might appeal to some people who read Life as Louise.

(If this isn’t your thing that’s totally ok πŸ˜‰ I’ll see you on Tuesday!)

Right now Pure Flix is teaming up with Convoy of Hope. Together they’re bringing food, medicine, and supplies to millions of children. By watching a movie or show on that platform in May you will help them bring more than $100,000 in goods to families.

While I was perusing their library I saw they had some of the bigger faith-based films available like “God’s Not Dead” and “Old Fashioned” (which was actually filmed in and around my county).

I know there are thousands of ways to donate time and money to worthwhile causes, but something in me felt called to share this platform with other folks πŸ™‚ I’m a Christian and I had no idea it existed, so I figure other Christians and non-Christians alike might be in the dark, too.

No pressure, friends. Just putting this out there for those interested in a Christian-based entertainment platform as well as contributing to Convoy of Hope!

A Dog Rescue Kit

I wasn’t going to mention this story here, but it fuels my motivation and drives home the importance of a “rescue kit.” It’s not a happy story… Scroll past the image of Lylee and Enzo if you want to skip it.

. . .

Last Tuesday I saw a small tan dog get hit by a car and die. The entire scene has played through my head numerous times. When it happened I was so frozen in shock- I just stood in my driveway stupidly. The driver of the car immediately pulled over (bless his soul) and raced back to check on the dog, but he knew it was too late. Another car also pulled over to stand next to the body while the man went door to door to find the owner. I was 50 yards from this entire scene and just too shocked to move or help. The driver found the owner, who carried the dog out of the street, and the two cars went on their way. And I just stood there and tried not to cry.

I hate that I couldn’t move. I hate that I wasn’t closer to the scene so I could’ve warned the car (who wasn’t speeding or anything) or grabbed the dog. I HATE that the dog was loose outside without a leash or a tether or supervision. I hate everything about what I saw.

…I can’t imagine losing my dogs that way. I can’t imagine anyone losing their dogs that way. And that’s the reason I pull over or stop what I’m doing when I see a stray dog. (I also share “lost dog” posts on FB.)

Ly and Enzo got out of the backyard once and I am forever grateful to the girl who stopped what she was doing and brought them home.

I can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve stopped for, but it’s a lot. K pulls over, too- both when I’m with him and when I’m not. It’s an easy thing to do and you’re saving a life.

Rescuing a dog is as simple as stopping the car, opening your car door, and whistling. That said, sometimes it goes better if you’re prepared. To help you out, I put together this little kit as an example.

Box includes: Sterlite box (94 cents), large or medium collar ($4), leash ($5), wet wipes ($3), dog treats that won’t expire or spoil in the heat (training treats or Milk Bones $3), an old towel (TOTAL COST: $15.94)

Excuse the dirt… I own dogs + I went flower shopping.

Please note- you absolutely don’t need these things to rescue a dog; I’ve only just put this kit in my car.

Also, here are a few tips:

  • If the dog seems friendly but won’t come to you for a milk bone, try something more tasty to coax them over. K once used a blueberry muffin from his lunchbox.
  • Do not immediately reach for the dog’s collar. Let the dog smell you and warm up to you first.
  • If the dog has dog tags you can call into the county/use their website and get the owners information. In Ohio it’s on the county auditor’s page.
  • Get a picture and description of the dog to local veterinary clinics, radio stations, and shelters. Also, take the dog to a vet to see if there is an embedded chip with the owner’s information.

Sometimes you’ll pull over to help a dog and the owner will pop out the front door of a house 25ft away and yell at you. Shake it off- it’s their fault for letting the dog wander away. And honestly, sometimes people are just shitty and you come across a dog that’s been dumped. (That happened to us and we ended up keeping Melody for her remaining years. She was a lover.)

Sweet girl was roughly 11 years old when she wander into our lives…

If you’ve never stopped for lost pets I hope you’ll reconsider. And if you’re the kind of owner that lets your dog run all over the town PLEASE stop doing that. I firmly believe we make it through life because we look out for one another, and that includes animals.

Keep an eye out for lost fur-babies during these warm summer months.

Books I Want to Read – Summer 2017

Like most folks on GoodReads, I have a never ending list of “to read” books. I’m taking a page post out of Alexandra‘s and Kelly‘s blogs and rattling off a few novels I want to tackle this summer.

Hopefully a few of these fall in line with Erin‘s next challenge, too! That starts July 1st so I have a little break between now and then to tackle as many of these books as I can!

Yes Please (Amy Poehler).
I added this to my bookshelf in July 2015, then I received it as a gift this year for Valentine’s Day. I enjoyed Tina’s and Mindy’s books so I’m looking forward to this one, too.

The Heir & The Crown (Kiera Cass).
Two separate books- numbers 4 and 5 in The Selection series. I’ve made it this far… I might as well finish out the series.

Scarlet (A.C. Gaughen).
I believe Alexandra put this on my radar a few month ago (er, maybe a year ago?). Either way… I’m putting it at the top of the list.

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well (Meik Wiking).
Everyone’s reading it sooo… I want to, too.

The Wrath & The Dawn (Renee Ahdieh).
I’m going to finally attempt to link-up with Carolann‘s monthly GoodReads book club. This is the May book.

The Sisters Brothers (Patrick deWitt).
Erin sent me this book a few weeks ago and I’m dying to start it! That cover is so intriguing!

Three Dark Crowns (Kendare Blake).
I’ve heard good things about this book and it’s got a nice mix of royalty and fantasy. Those two genres are usually right up my alley.

Either Throne of Glass or A Court of Thorns and Roses (Sarah J. Maas).
Any recommendations on which I should start?

Help me out with the Maas books. And tell me what you’re planning on reading this summer!

A Daily Dose of Laughter

I would venture to say that the majority of my friends and family would not describe me as “jolly.” On the contrary, I tend to be an awkward mix of volatile and passionate. I’m not a fan of physical touch and I infuse sarcasm in 95% of my conversations. While I firmly believe I am (mostly) a good time to be around, I also know that I’m not the always-smiling, always-bubbly girl at the party unless there’s lots of alcohol. (I’m usually the quiet one on the floor in the corner with 8 dogs.)

All of that to say, if you’re like me and not in the habit of joking around and smiling on a daily basis (especially during these dark times), I believe we should be. We all deserve to have at least one big belly laugh a day. Not a polite smile or a forced chuckle- a genuine, outburst of laughter.

True to my introvert ways, I often find something hilarious to laugh at when I’m all alone. Jimmy Fallon videos, inappropriate Reddit threads, dog and cats videos… All of those are total winners for me. That said, laughing alongside my husband or best friends is my most preferred laughter outlet.

Some people laugh a lot (is it weird that I’m jealous of those folks?) and this is an unnecessary reminder, but for those of you who go a day or a week without fully utilizing every part of your lungs for a laugh, try to change it up. If you only have three minutes watch a Youtube video. If you’ve got a few hours pop in a comedy or meet your funniest friend for lunch. (Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, yet? I was gasping for air, crying & laughing.)

I don’t do it as often as I should, but laughter does the soul good. We could all benefit from a little more joy. Tears from laughter always trump tears of sadness or anger or fear. (Pun possibly intended…?)

*Suggestion: While SNL is killin’ it right now, avoid those clips during your daily dose of laughter. Personally, those clips make me smirk- not belly laugh. They’re awesome and hilarious and so on point, but they can stir up outrage, too, and that’s not the emotion we’re going for in these few moments of hilarity.

So if you’re like me and you forget to make laughing a priority in your day-to-day schedule, this is your gentle reminder to sit down for a second and enjoy something funny. The heavy stuff is always going to be there and sometimes we just need a break!

Short Stories I Love

I’d venture to guess that most of us are book people. While I consider myself a book person, I tend to overlook or avoid short stories, fables, etc. I don’t know why, but I do. But every once in a while one crosses my path and it sticks with me.

life_as_louise_favorites

Today I’m sharing three very short stories or fables with you πŸ™‚
The longest is roughly 1,000 words and the shortest is a few paragraphs.

The Grasshopper & the Ants

You’ve probably heard this one. It’s from Aesop’s Fables. The ants are a tad harsh in the end, but I like to balance this lesson with my last short story on this list πŸ˜‰

You can read it here.

The Boarded Window by Ambrose Bierce

I read this story when I was in middle school or high school and I really loved it. I’ve tried (and failed) to get into Poe- I think Bierce is more my style. Plus, he just disappeared and died somewhere. No one really knows what became of him…

Anyway, you can read The Boarded Window here.

And last but not least…

The Tiger & the Fox

I really love this story, but I don’t know much about it. I believe it’s by Massud Farzan from The Tale of the Reed Pipe. I think it’s of Islamic origin? Anyway- I love it.

A fox who lived in the deep forest of long ago had lost its front legs. No one knew how: perhaps escaping from a trap. A man who lived on the edge of the forest, seeing the fox from time to time, wondered how in the world it managed to get its food. One day when the fox was not far from him he had to hide himself quickly because a tiger was approaching. The tiger had fresh game in its claws. Lying down on the ground, it ate its fill, leaving the rest for the fox.

Again the next day the great Provider of this world sent provisions to the fox by this same tiger. The man began to think: β€œIf this fox is taken care of in this mysterious way, its food sent by some unseen Higher Power, why don’t I just rest in a corner and have my daily meal provided for me?”

Because he had a lot of faith, he let the days pass, waiting for food. Nothing happened. He just went on losing weight and strength until he was nearly a skeleton. Close to losing consciousness, he heard a voice which said: β€œO you, who have mistaken the way, see now the truth! You should have followed the example of that tiger instead of imitating the fox.”


What are some short stories or fables that you love?