Brittany and her semi-loyal, four-legged companion journey into dog sports

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about Nyx on the blog. The Hell Hound and I have been rather busy. In October I decided to put her into Agility. If you have no idea what Agility for dogs is it’s basically an obstacle course that the dog runs. And  if you’d like to see dogs in action here is a link to the 2017 Crufts Singles Finals.

Nyx absolutely loves it. Neither of us are great at it. If you’re picturing us running like the dogs and handlers in the video you are way off, as you’ll see in the upcoming videos. An Agility class for us is usually full of Nyx attempting to run off to do ALL THE THINGS or running by her doggy friends trying to get them to play (if she isn’t on leash) while I’m crying on the inside and yelling “come here!” after her. It’s an experience. Thank the doggie gods that neither she nor the majority of the dogs in class are aggressive. There are two Spaniels that generally hate everyone, but they (thankfully) haven’t been there in a while. Not that they’re bad dogs, just all around grumps that appear have a case of “littermate syndrome”.

This was a good night. She’s currently in her teenager phase, and has become an all around terror. Honestly, why are all teenagers, animal and human alike, such pains?! I know it’s only temporary, but it is awful, just awful. Pray for me, because I want to pull my hair out and cry.

Thankfully, though, through Agility, I have made some wonderful dog lady friends and mentors. One of those mentors convinced me to try another sport with her and another friend. She has a Catahoula Leopard Hound that, like Nyx, is extremely high energy. After a few weeks watching them she casually mentioned something called Fast C.A.T. It’s essentially a 100 yard dash for dogs where they time them as well as measure how fast they run. She wanted to see who was faster Nyx or her pup so a few weeks later we were signed up and in Florida ready to run our dogs. Turns out, Nyx is faster. She ran 27 mph (about 43 kph). When the results are finally added she will be tied for the fastest German Shorthaired Pointer for Fast C.A.T. I’m pretty proud of her, but not as proud as HB is. He’s hung her ribbons on the fridge, and has told all his coworkers about how well she’s done. It’s kind of adorable.

So what do we have in store for the near future when it comes to dog sports? Well I’d like to get into Barn Hunt. You have your dog search for a tube with a rat in it. No rats are harmed. And if everything goes according to plan we will have a Tracking workshop on the 25th. This dog better know she’s loved with all the fun and expensive things we’ve done to ensure she’s happy, healthy, and well exercised.

My current favorite facial care products

If you have not heard of, or used, anything by Shea Moisture please do yourself a favor and go buy everything they sell. Alright, maybe not everything, but you should definitely check it out. I will conveniently provide you with the link right here.

What I love about this company:

  • For starters, I love how inclusive it is. They have products for ALL skin colors and hair types, skin types, all genders, moms and babies, etc.
  • They are cruelty free, which is ALWAYS a great thing.
  • They are fair trade, sustainable, organic…you know what I’m just going to post what they have as their ethical standards on their website so you can read it for yourself:
    • Our Ethical Standards

              We are natural, organic, sustainably-produced goodness. Made with love for you    and your body. Pioneering fair trade through Community Commerece at home and abroad. We strive to be sulfate free, paraben free and more, whenever possible. Tested on our family for four generations. Never on animals.

  • Most of the products I’ve used make my face feel fairies kissed it. That’s a bit extreme, but they do make my face feel wonderful.

So what have I used? I have used the African Black Soap Problem Skin Facial Mask (personal favorite), Coconut & Hibiscus Facial Mask (my face didn’t handle this one too well, sadly), one with Frankincense and Myrrh that is no longer on their site, sadly,  and the African Black Soap Problem Skin Moisturizer. The little tub of moisturizer is kind of expensive, but I’ve had it for a couple months now and I’ve barely made a dent in it. So it’s well worth the money, and will last a while.

If you live in the U.S. I know there are small packets at Walmart, and possibly Target, for around a dollar. I definitely recommend grabbing a few and seeing what works for you. Just don’t be like me and think you have to put the entire package on your face in one go. The package lasts for a few weeks if you use it sparingly, use it once or twice a week, and make sure it’s sealed properly (a plastic baggy (Ziplock) works just fine).

If anyone reads this and is interested, please share your favorite beauty products with me. I’m always open to new product suggestions.

Graduate!

It’s officially official! I am a graduate! I have the degree in hand and everything so they can’t change their minds. What’s life like as a graduate? Boring and soul crushing. Not really. It’s about the same as when I was in school, except I don’t go to class, and my loans are due. I’ve been applying to any and every job I can get my grubby hands on, but so far no luck. It’s a bit of a downer to be turned down repeatedly, but rejection is part of life. At least I’ve graduated. I’ll just hold onto that I get a job. (Someone hire me!)

Here, have a cookie. No really, eat the cookie.

I don’t believe I’ve talked about HB’s Oma too often on here, but my love for her knows no limits (Opa, too). I swear it is her mission in life to feed me until I pop. I am convinced most grandmothers around the world have this agenda: force feed anyone that walks into their door.

For those not in the know, I am a grazer that eats like a bird. I will munch throughout the day, but it’s rare that I will eat a whole lot in one sitting. To Oma this is just unacceptable, because it looks like I hardly eat. (I swear I do) HB is usually with me so I can push the food off onto him, but there have been a few times where he hasn’t been there. The most memorable time being a few years ago during HB’s study at home abroad. He got a job at the restaurant his sister was working at at the time so there were a few afternoons and evenings where he wasn’t there. Like the completely non-ridiculous human being I am, I would hide in our room while he was gone so I wouldn’t have to feel like a fish out of water when Oma wanted to chat. (I’m getting better about trying to communicate)

One day after walking HB to work Oma asked me if I wanted dinner. I tried my damnedest to tell her that I would eat when HB came home so he didn’t have to eat alone. About an hour later she asked again if I wanted food. I said no. Well five minutes later Opa comes in with a metal tin. Most metal tins I’ve been around either have sewing supplies or cookies. I’m sure you can figure out what was in the tin. Opa opened the tin and shook it at me. He didn’t say a single thing. Just coyly smiled at me while shaking the cookie tin in my direction. What did I do? Say no thank you? I did, but he still shook the tin so I took a cookie. Oma decided I’d said no to her one to many times when it came to food so she sent in back-up. Moral of the story: eat the damn food when it’s offered to you or a sweet Opa will be sent in with explicit instructions not to leave until he sees you eat at least part of a cookie you didn’t think you wanted. You’re wrong. You want that cookie. Appease Oma and Opa and eat.

I’m a graduate now, so it’s time to act like it. Or, I’m applying for all the jobs I can get my grubby little hands on

I’ve start the daunting task of applying for “big girl” jobs. Applying for jobs is already overwhelming and terrifying, but I feel like it becomes a bit scarier after you graduate. I mean I’ve got a good bit riding on getting a job. A.k.a. I HAVE SO MANY LOANS (thank you American University system, and thank you, Brittany, for taking so long to graduate).

Seeing as I am an American I have a Resume. Cool beans! But not really, because as usual the rest of the world has all pretty much agreed to using a CV for job applications. I did not have a CV. I had no idea where to even begin creating one. To be honest, I still have no idea. It just kind of came together magically like my Resume did. Thanks to my wonderful Sister-in-law and her boyfriend I managed to put together a CV that I’m not ashamed to send out. I won’t pretend like I have some great CV with killer experience, because I do not. I worked in retail, was a student assistant, and then rocked the Hausfrau life until now…well I’m still rocking that life, but actively trying to change that. I mean it’s only fair for me to work so HB can (hopefully) get his Master’s degree without having to work.

Last night I sent in my first application, and I’m still kind of riding on the excitement from it. Everything about the company seems so interesting and exciting. The only downfall, more of a bummer, really, is that it’s so far away from where HB and his family will be. We’d have to spend life long-distance for a while, but that’s okay. We’ll live. I’m putting the cart before the horse. I need to get the job before I start worrying about where I’ll be living in relation to everyone else. I’ve got a long list of job openings to get through. I’m excited to see what the outcome will be (a job, hopefully).

Everything is becoming very real, very quickly. Until recently, moving to Germany was just an idea, something that, sure, was going to happen, but it wasn’t real. Now it’s glaring me directly in the face and I just realized how absolutely terrified I truly am. There have been a few times where I’ve wanted to tell HB that we should just stay here with what we (read: I) know, but I haven’t. At least not seriously. We’ve started putting our ducks in a row in preparation for the move (we’ve hired a pet moving company, I’m applying to jobs, we’re getting paperwork together, etc). It’s no longer an intangible future event. It’s happening. To be a bit more precise: it’s happening in 8 months. That is if I don’t have a job offer and move before then–fingers crossed and thumbs pressed!

I’ve become such a Christmas Grump

I never intended to be, though. Does anyone really set out wanting to be a scrooge-like? Probably not, unless you’re just an all around horrible person in general, then you might. I’ve always loved the holidays, and spending time with family, but over the years I’ve noticed a growing feeling that gift giving is what’s important rather than being with your loved ones. I’ve found that we just collect things as some sort of social status marker rather than investing in things that truly matter: loved ones.

I’m no different. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I like things. I put way too much emotion into my possessions. If something I like breaks I will feel an overwhelming sense of sadness at the loss of a thing. It can almost always easily be replaced, so it isn’t a true loss. Often these things we collect just end up stashed in a drawer, box, or closet somewhere never to be seen again until the yearly clean-up comes where you go through your stuff and keep, donate, or trash things. The keep pile is always the largest, and filled with things you don’t need yet can’t part with. So those things end up back in their dust collecting places of solitude.

The holidays seem to encourage this. Or rather, society seems to encourage this during the holidays. If you don’t get each person in your family a gift, or if it isn’t a “good” gift–you didn’t spend enough money/it wasn’t on their list–you’re a bad family member, which is just ridiculous. I truly wish things would change for the better where the importance of the season is placed upon something greater than things, but until then I’ll continue to be bitter and salty about it. And of course I’ll still give gifts, usually in the form of a gift card, because I am an awful gift giver–at least it allows people to choose what they want themselves.

D.C. For A Day

This past weekend HB and I decided to go to D.C. to visit a friend for a day. That’s about a 12 hour drive from where we currently live, rest stops included. You might be asking yourself what would possess someone to drive 12 hours to spend one day in the nation’s capital? Well, you might remember that we went to Moscow for a weekend to visit a friend as well. It’s the same friend. I’m telling you this broship is very serious. I’m the awkward third wheel in this relationship (not really. We’re all one big happy family).

After driving for 12 hours we finally made it to D.C. completely exhausted, but instead of going to sleep what did we do? We went to the movies to see Rogue One, which turned out to be a wonderful movie. These party animals ended up crashing at 3 in the morning. WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?! 

We started the following day with brunch, because according to our friend D.C. loves brunch. Honestly, I don’t really remember the name of the restaurant even though it was delicious, probably because the waiter kept referring to me, and our group as sirs. I am a lady, damn it! I just happen to be a lady with short hair. The rest of the day was spent meandering around the city. A small note: if anyone is planning on traveling to Washington D.C. in the very near future be aware that there is a ridiculous, hideous structure being built in front of the White House (thanks Trump), and the entire block is blocked off so you won’t be able to get many decent pictures.

As happy as we are that we went, this trip has definitely made us question some future road trips. We were planning on driving to visit family in Rhode Island when they move, but neither of us are really up for a 17+ hour drive one way. I think my distaste of road trips might finally be rubbing off on HB…probably not, but a girl can dream.