Showing posts from October, 2011

Count Me In!

I spent a good part of my morning yesterday cleaning our car. Everytime I get into it I would always do a mental note to clean it one of these days. Unfortunately, I couldn't because it's never on our driveway for a long period of time...until yesterday when we decided to just stay home instead of running errands. The car needed replaced..err...cleaned badly so it took hours to clean it. I've been cleaning it for about a couple of hours when hubby decided to join me. While we were scrubbing & washing away dirt, we started discussing about some changes in our car insurance policy. Since I don't drive yet, I am not in the policy as a driver yet. It's also the reason why I can't practice driving using that car. Yesterday, we decided that we should probably look into adding me to the policy so I can do some practice driving already. Guess who is tasked to do the searching for some affordable car insurance rates??? M-E! Of course.... That's what I've bee

Chillin' on a Sunday

I guess that's more like what's happening in other states but unlike those states, we're not experiencing snow today. But we're still chillin' at home today since we were out the whole day yesterday hopping from one store to another. We went out with a mission find a PC for me. We didn't quite fulfill the mission...instead we came home with something else...a new TREE! So it's not a total loss. Oh...and we got the PC also but online. What a surprise....NOT! Right now, the little one is busy carving her pumpkin in the back porch. I was trying to help her earlier but she wants to do it all by herself so I'm letting her do it. I just check on her every now and then. Okay...the pumpkin is done. She goofed up and cut some parts she shouldn't but she somehow saved it. Here's the finished product... I asked her to ask Dad to help her but it's supposed to be her surprise to him so she refused to ask for help...LOL. She likes suprising

To Quit or Not to Quit?

Yep, that is the question! One of the firs things I 'discovered' when I started looking for ways to make some extra money while I stay home with the little was home scanning. For those not familiar with it, it's when you scan the groceries or any products you buy in stores using one of those barcode scanners similar to what they use in stores. The information gathered by the scanner is then sent to the company I scan for through the phone where the transmitter is connected. The main aim of this is to help research companies like the one I'm scanning for in determining prices in different stores from different places. Anyway, I've been contemplating in quitting this 'sideline' for a couple of reasons. The original company I did this for was bought out by a bigger company a few years ago so a lot has changed already and I'm not particularly happy with the changes. The other reason is my busy schedule. My main aim when I joined was the extra income. It doe

Which is Which?

After a late breakfast this morning, we decided to head out. The main purpose of the trip was to look at some PCs because that's the hubby's present to me for my 21st. :) We also wanted to look at some fireplaces that we've always wanted to put in the living room. We can't go with traditional ones because we don't have the space for it so it's kinda' challenging to look for one. Anyway, we hopped from one store to another and as soon as we entered the first store, one thing was clear...the holiday season IS just around the corner...or is it? It's only Halloween on Monday so we were quite taken aback when Christmas stuff greeted us at the door of the store. Are people sending out holiday invitations already as well or is it only the commercial establishment that are jumping the gun? Honestly, we can't even decide anymore if we should be looking at Halloween stuff or Thanksgiving stuff or Christmas stuff. It seems these 3 come as a "package deal&

ChipMunks & Chippettes

There they are. Busy having a conversation...according to the little one anyway. Dad ordered them online and they arrived today. Of course the little one was ecstatic when she realized why the mail lady knocked on our door. She's been playing with them since I took them out of the box and she carries at least one around with her. She even sat Alvin on the table while she's having her dinner and sat one of the Chippetes...not sure which one...on her desk while she's doing her work. She's nuts about these characters at the moment and I don't see it waning anytime soon. She even listens to their music when she gets the chance. As long as she doesn't sing like them, then it's fine by me for her to listen to "munks" music. She knows that if she starts singing like them, then her 'munks' listening time will no longer exist. One day she can't wait to be a grown up, the next day she's so into these characters. I'm glad though that she s

Stress-Free Week...

Maybe? At least that's what I'm hoping the husband will have next week. They had a pretty intense week because they had some clients pretty much the whole week. I believe this is the most intense I've seen them yet since they started this business. Their clients wanted to make sure the machines are working according to the specifications they set up. From what I understand, the end user of the machine is a big company so they're a wee bit more strict. I heard they were satisfied with the product so that's a good thing. Today, hubby spent his time doing what he usually does...working on things he wasn't able to do while the customers were around like looking for degreasers they need for the shop. I've been to that place and degreasers are probably one of the most used item in there. They don't need them only for the machines and tools they use but on most surfaces in the shop. Looking for degreasers is only one of the many things he had to do though. A l

Getting Certified

I appreciate the guest post, Ignacio Phillips When I began college four years ago, I decided that I wanted to get a degree in something I was interested in. My mom always told me that I should get that type of degree, but also get a degree in something in which I can easily find a job. I am starting to think I should have listened to her. I got a degree in history because I always found history fascinating. I knew that someday I wanted to teach, but I am now realizing that I should have gotten a degree in social studies education and gotten my teaching certification. I have been searching different Virginia Internet Providers because I need to do some research online to find out if I can get a teaching certification with only a history degree. My mom is a teacher and my dad is a principal, so they were pleased when I told them I thought I wanted to teach. My dad said that he will use all the connections he has to find me a job in the school in which I want to teach. The first thing I h

Guy & Pip....

Vi & Bot...LOL! Laughing at myself here. I have no idea what came over me today but I've been busy searching You Tube for videos of these 2 'love teams'. Okay...for those who are not from the Philippines & my era, you probably have no idea who these people are. They were famous loveteams when I was growing up...mostly in the 70s. I was actually very young to follow them during their 'hey days' but my aunts on my mother side were die-hard followers so they had everything about their idols. I would also sat with them while they were watching their idols on TV. What do you know, they were etched in my memory. Who would ever forget Maria Leonora Theresa ??? OMG! Sad [or maybe funny], I can still remember the videos I see on You Tube because I saw them when I was 5 or 6 years old. Anyway, I haven't finished a lot of work because of this so I better close You Tube before I forget that I have work to do. Hmmm....maybe after watching another one? Oh my...I need

Trick or Treatin' at the Mall...

Has it really been a year since our little one was ‘fairy’? Yep, it’s been a year since that day where she paraded in her fairy costume collecting candies. This year she’ll be parading as a….well, let me leave that hanging. It’ll be a surprise until after Halloween. Just like the last 8 years that we’ve been doing this, we will be heading to the mall on Halloween for trick or treat. I’m sure there will be a lot of young ones & a few young once who will be there with us. And just like last year, I’m sure there will be a lot of stanchions tied on a velvet rope around the place. It seems that in the last few years, more and more companies are starting their holiday promos a lot earlier. I guess they want to take advantage of the throng of people that come to the mall for the usual trick or treat on Halloween because the crowd at the mall on this day has definitely gotten bigger since we started doing our trick or treatin’ there. That wasn’t always the case though. I think it all sta


I am hoping we'll have a dry weekend. It might not be the case because according to our weather people it would be rainy. Right now it's a bit cloudy. It already rained a little bit early this morning but it's not really that much. No plans for the weekend for us. Monday is Halloween and we will be doing the usual trick or treat late in the date. As usual, the mall will be our destination as our neighborhood does not really follow that tradition. We have a couple of houses decorated for the occasion but that's about it. We're happy with just going to the mall anyway. We may even end up doing some shopping while we're there, right?

The "old" school....

Old school...that's what younger generation calls it whenever we bring up something that we used to do before, right? Yes, I am from 'old school'. Let me tell you this, I loved school. I didn't attend regular school until I was almost 8 years old and that's solely because my birthday was a day later than the cut-off date to be accepted to the first grade. That meant I had to wait one whole school year to get so I was really 'gung-ho' when I was finally accepted. I guess that fueled my love for going to school. How much did I love it back then? I would cry whenever it was time for summer vacation. Odd, eh? Also, I had a great time with my classmates and school mates. There was no need for bullying prevention back then because bullying was non-existent during that time. There were rough playing in the playgrounds but nothing that could be considered as bullying. Now that I think about it, I don't think I even heard of 'school bullying' until a few

Such a Struggle...

Image get up in the morning! Ha! You thought it was something really serious, eh? I am going through the spell again where I have a hard time falling asleep for the last few nights now. I can't really pinpoint what the cause/reason as to why this is. I don't think I'm stressed [or am I?] since I don't have any reason to be. I've been doing my daily exercise which helped me before but not this time. Can it be my thyroid again? I hope not. It's been under control for more than a year now and I only take half a pill of my medication twice a day for the last several months now. My doctor is thinking of taking me off it completely if my next blood test comes back normal. So I am really hoping my thyroid is not the reason for my difficulty falling asleep. Hopefully it's something temporary and won't be a problem in the coming days/nights anymore. I hate not being able to fall asleep for hours at a time. But even if I fall asleep way past midnight I still [my b

Another Week...

What else is new, right? The weekend was a ho-hum for the little one and the big one [moi!] because we just stayed home while the bigger one ~ man of the house aka Daddy ~ went to work the whole weekend. He had to because their clients are down here for a few days while they do a run-off. That's when a client comes for visit to see how well the machine they commissioned hubby's company to build works. Fortunately we've been having a very cool weather the last week or it hubby would have been worried about their clients being comfortable in their shop. I know for a fact that on a normal day, it's very hot in that shop. Hubby has been planning in getting a spot cooler for quite a while now and I really have no idea why he hasn't actually. I actually saw him browsing online for these coolers and I thought he was about to buy one at one point. Anyway, our weather will be back to the 'normal' fall weather in a couple of days...just in time for their clients to l

Singing 'Breathe'....

Since our server is still down, I didn't have much to do so I decided to go to You Tube and browse. At first I was just browsing at random. Then I thought of checking out the videos I uploaded myself since a couple of years ago. That's when I stumbled upon these 2 different "Breathe" videos I uploaded. I believe I posted one of them here already but I couldn't locate it anymore so I thought of posting it again for 'amusement' purposes. Anyway, the first video is of me being a tvh ~ trying very hard ~ singing Breathe in the background while a very young little one tried to sing along. The very much amused/tickled Dad was the one recording everything. The second video is that of a little bit older little one singing Breathe all on her own. It's funny how she actually hit some notes correctly. Her timing is also nothing to frown about considering she was barely 3 years old when I recorded her giving her best shot in singing Breathe. Btw, take note of th


More like 'daydreamin' actually. After that short [very short] 'getaway' we had a couple of weeks ago, I can't help but think about the next 'getaway' our little family might have in the future. The 2 burning questions are always - when & where will it be? The very short getaway we had was only a couple of hours away from where we are and it was just a side-trip so to speak. I am hoping that the next one will be a bit longer and a little bit farther from home. But we just couldn't go on a longer getaway now because of hubby's busy schedule at work at the moment. Much as we want to go somewhere a little bit farther, we just can't right now...even though we really need to do so. I'm just a simple person with very simple wants but it is during these times when I feel like we can use a real vacation that I wish we have the means to rent a private jet to whisk us away even just for a day or two. At least with a private jet we can relax on the

Thuderstorm Warning?

That's what we've been getting in the last couple of days. So far we've only experienced winds in this neck of the woods but no rain yet. I didn't water the plants yesterday because I really thought it was going to rain because it started drizzling as I was heading out to water them. Well, it didn't. Good thing the weather was mild so they weren't as parched compared to last week. Anyway, it's still windy today. It's also really gloomy. Looks like it's finally going to rain...but who knows. The storm was supposed to happen yesterday/last night which would have brought us some heavy rains but it didn't I'll just wait and see. If it doesn't rain by 4, I'll be giving those plants some water for drinking. I don't want my 'landscaper'...'gardener' bite my head off now, do I?

Surprised is the Word!

One of the most memorable part of my life is probably the part that I spent in Taiwan. Beside being given the chance to teach some amazing students, I also met some incredible people who still remain my friends up to now. Sadly, I only get to see these friends now in pictures. One of these friends is now back home with her 2 children. She already has kids when we met. One was in middle school while the other one was in grade school when we were all in Taiwan. Her older child is a boy who was quite big for his age so my friend frequented big and tall mens clothes stores during those days. There weren't a lot of those stores in that country because an average man there is probably only 5'7" in height and about 150 pounds in weight. But that's not the 'surprise' I'm referring to here. I haven't seen my friend's son in years. In my mind, he is still this kinda' heavy tall boy I used to teach. Imagine my surprise when I got a friend's request in

Nothing To Do?

My morning schedule has suddenly opened up [until further notice that is] because the server at work is going through some kind of maintenance. I only found out about it this morning so I didn't plan in doing anything else. That doesn't mean that I have nothing to do. Oh no...that will never happen. As a matter of fact, I just got an email from my 'boss' [hint: married to him] asking if I already looked for curt trailer hitches for his trailer. Uh oh! Not really. I was tasked to do this months ago I think but it completely slipped my mind because we haven't used the trailer since the, yep, hitch on it broke. It was actually an accident that it broke. We were on our way to the store to pick up some plants for the yard. But as we were pulling out the driveway, hubby felt that something was wrong with the trailer which was supposed to be hitched to the car. Lo and behold, it wasn't. Part of the hitch broke and trailer was barely hanging to the car. Good thing we w

The Art of Shopping?

Sadly, I haven't mastered it after all these years. Boo hoo to me, eh? I just don't have the 'genes' for it. Or maybe I lack the practice? I don't really know actually. But fear seems that the genes I lack when it comes to 'this art' are abundant in my 'successor'. Let's see. When I go in a store, more often than not I have a purpose. I have to buy or look for something I need...and sometimes 'want'. I don't normally walk in a store without an 'aim'. That means as soon as I walk in, I know where I'm last weekend. I was looking for belts & shoes [typical? LOL]. I realized when we went to Orlando that I didn't have any decent belt so when we went out last weekend, that's what I was looking for...and I found it. Of course the little one and the big one [aka Dad] were with me...and whenever I have to shop for something for myself, the two of them usually wander around the store [because I don&

Off to a Greener Pasture?

One of my cousins just quit his job of more than 10 years back home to try his luck here in the west. He is now busy searching for houses for rent in Edmonton , Alberta in Canada because his new job is located around that area. I knew he always has this ‘aim’ of one day working abroad because according to him, he wants to try for a greener pasture. But I was still surprised when he told me that he’s looking for houses to rent in that part of Canada. For one, he has a sister in Canada but not in Edmonton. I believe she’s in Ottawa so I kinda’ expected that he would be working in that area. I haven’t spoken with his sister yet about this but he said she’s fine with it…him working in Edmonton I mean. At least their Mom who lives with the sister can now have 2 of her children living close by. My nephew is also planning in working in Canada. His friends have been convincing him to apply ever since he passed the medical board exam earlier this year and I’ve been trying to convince him to wai

Weekend Flew By....

You with me when I say... I bet you are, eh? But Mondays come and go so we just have to accept that fact...but, can there be 2 Sundays instead? Tee hee... Today was another 'day out' for the 3 stooges [us!]. I had to return a dress I got last weekend because I didn't like the fit. I got another one and this time, it fits just fine...I think. The little one also got some scarves. Believe it or not Dad was the one that brought the scarves to her attention. What do you know...she came out of the store with 2 new scarves. I'm guessing it would be her 'new thing' now. She's already having fun with them as it is so I'm sure we will be getting more during our future trips to the store. Anyway, have a great week ahead everyone! As Ellen likes to say at the end of her kind to one another...

My Wallet Fascination

Today's weather was the total opposite of last weekend's weather. The temperature barely reached 80 degrees just like last weekend but it's all dry today....and tomorrow as well. But even if it was raining last weekend, we decided to head out to do some spur of the moment window shopping and a little bit of shopping. Our original plan was to look at some point & shoot digital cameras because ours is a already acting up so we decided to find a replacement for it already. Just like any other shopping trips, we ended up buying more than what we planned for. I got a couple of dresses while the little one got a pair of boots. Yep, boots. She's been asking for a pair so Dad got her a pair. Hmm...can you say, spoiled? I also ended up checking on some wallets because the one I have already looks so worn out so I want to replace it already. I didn't find one to my liking so I didn't get one...yet. If some women like bags, I actually like wallets more. I always have.

A Wish...

We're having really gorgeous weather here in the last few days. We just stayed home today because the man of the house had to work...of course. I spent majority of the day doing, what else, chores. I cleaned the back porch because I'm planning in staying out there tomorrow if we're just staying home.

New Career?

One of my nieces is gearing up to be a lawyer. She's actually almost done with the degree except for one more requirement that she could have done earlier this year. She thought she had it all taken cared of but it turned out that wasn't the case so she had to wait one more year before she can take the bar exams. In the meantime, she has taken interest in Court Reporting . She said that it's not the same as being a lawyer but learning more about this other profession has surely been interesting and has been keeping her busy while trying to finish that last requirement. I was interested in Court Reporting myself at one point. Although I am more interested in one aspect of transcription. I believe I even tried my hand on that at one point but it didn't really pan out because the company I was hired to work at home from had some problems with its other employees so it had to close shop. I still come across legal transcription in my current job and I must say tha


Orlando is not that far from where we are. I've only been there a few times but the husband takes regular trips there for business purposes. But even if he's been in that city numerous times, when we went to SeaWorld a couple of weeks ago he still didn't know where the place is. Good thing I got him one of those gps for truckers for one of his birthdays or we would have spent a lot of time going in circle. In fairness to him though, finding these famous attractions is no easy feat even for a seasoned driver like him. We had a similar experience a few years ago when we went to Disney World. That we didn't have a GPS yet. Hubby didn't think it would be that hard to find Disney World since it's a very famous place. Boy was he ever wrong. I think we spent an hour or more just looking for the correct turn. There were signs alright but they were so small you would miss them if you blink. It's times like this when I'm sure glad I got him a GPS for a gift. I de

Arrived Safely!

I got a message from my niece that the box I sent back home arrived in one piece. I sent it at the end of August and it arrived to its destination today. I figured it would arrive sometime this month and I was right. It's supposed to be my Christmas presents to them so Christmas came early, eh? Most of the contents of the box are actually educational toys that the little one no longer needs so I thought I'd send it to the little ones over there to take advantage of. The toys are practically brand new because it's only the little one that played with them and they were never out of the house. The original batteries that came with the toy are still good although I had to take them out for I'm afraid they may 'bleed' on the custom t-shirts I put in there en route to their destination. Of course I also had to put some things for the other members of my family. I sent the usual lotion & spray for the women while the men will get some of the t-shirts that took me

Ligustrum Tree

That's the latest addition to our on-going 'lawn beautification'....LOL! I would have said 'landscaping' but we're a bit short of that. That's a ligustrum tree that hubs has been looking for but didn't know what it's called at first. We finally found out its name when we went to the little one's evaluator because she has it in her yard. She had to call her 'landscaper' to ask for its name though because she also didn't know what it's called. We're not done yet...of course. Will we ever be? I don't know. It all depends on my personal 'gardener'...err...landscaper, maybe?


Running a business is not a joke no matter how small it is. I've never had a business of my own but now that the husband is running one, I can tell how stressful it can be. As much as possible he tries to leave work at work but sometimes it cannot be avoided. Much as he doesn't want to do it, he has to do a lot of the office work besides doing the 'actual' work. To lessen that office work load, they hired an accountant from day one. The first one they hired didn't work out well so they got another one. This one has been with them for a number of years. Sadly, she's not cutting it. There are days when hubby's so stressed I just wanted to volunteer and do the work of that person. The last 'oopss' she did cost the company some extra money in tax. Needless to say, they are now looking for a different tax preparer to do their taxes for this year. I believe they already interviewed a couple of people for the position but they haven't found the one the

Sore All Over...

That's me alright.... Yesterday I decided to do some 'minor' gardening. Originally I was just planning in pulling out the dollar weeds that keep popping up on the flower beds that are covered in mulch. Those dollar weeds grow everywhere I tell you. They're even thriving on the beds covered in pebbles where the blackberry bushes are. I pulled those as well and found out they're growing without the roots touching the soil. How did that happen? Pesky little weeds. I wish they're real dollars so we would be filthy rich by now. Ha! Anyway, the weather yesterday was really nice for staying outside so after weeding I decided to grab the big scissors and started trimming [aka killing according to hubby because I trimmed them too short...toink!] the grass around the bushes we have by the walkway. BIG MISTAKE! I didn't realize that all the squatting I did while doing that will result to this much pain on both my legs. I can hardly walk now because of soreness on my th

After the Flood...

Flood is never fun. I grew up in a place where flooding happens quite often and that’s because of the river situated right by our backyard that swells up everytime heavy rain happens. Unfortunately, flood has again taken over our yard as well as my brothers’ houses in the vicinity a couple of weeks ago. Not a single house on that side of town was spared as usual. I called my sister earlier to check on them and she said that water subsided already. The hard work of cleaning up after days of being under water now begins and it will take a while before it’s all done. I’ve sent my niece the link for as they may find the information there useful while they go through the arduous task of cleaning up after days of being flooded. My sister said that no major damage had been done in all the 3 houses for now anyway. They were able to put most of their stuff to safety before the water came so that’s a good thing. The worst part of this flooding according to her is the

A Not So Pleasant Stay

That sums up our one night stay at a hotel in downtown Orlando...and that's putting it mildly. As I mentioned in one of my posts, we went to Orlando last weekend so I could have my passport renewed without flying out of state. The embassy chose a hotel for this outreach program. The hotel wasn't too shabby so we decided to book a room to stay in for the night since it's only about 10 miles away from SeaWorld. The little one liked our room because it was on the 10th floor and it thrilled her to be able to see a lot of things from our room's window. But that's the only good thing I can say about our stay in this hotel. I don't even know where to start so let's start from the beginning and see how it all unfolded...LOL! Here we go... Since we had a few hours to spare before bedtime, we decided to go out and look for a Philippine restaurant / store I found online. It's been a while since I had a taste of the food I grew up eating so I was looking forwa

A Degree for a Better Future

Shocked! That was my initial reaction when I learned that my 19 year old nephew really got married. I saw his status update in a social network as married but brushed it aside thinking it was just some kind of a joke. It wasn’t because it was his father that told me it was for real. This kid postponed going to college because he wanted to work first. My brother’s job doesn’t pay much but he’s willing to work hard to send them to college but his son made the choice to work first so he let him. Now that he’s married, I just don’t see him going to college…at least not in a regular college. He should probably try Walden University’s online degree programs . I think that if he decides to pursue college in the future, he should learn about Walden university and what it can offer him. He is working right now and I think that’s something he couldn’t give up now that he has his own family. But I also think that he should get a degree for a better future. My oldest brother also got married at 1

Our SeaWorld Experience

To take advantage of our trip for my passport renewal in Orlando, we decided to swing by SeaWorld. It was sort of a last minute plan because we didn't really know if we could stay in the area for more than a day but we did. Hubby's been working 7 days a week so it was a nice short break from work. The venue for the passport renewal was in a hotel in downtown Orlando so we decided to just check in that hotel instead of going somewhere else. Let me just say it wasn't the best decision we made. I'd probably make a separate post about that hotel stay as well as another post about the passport renewal itself. Sadly, both experiences were not very good. It's a good thing we decided to go to SeaWorld or that trip would have been more of a bummer than anything. We went to SeaWorld on a Sunday. As expected the place was packed. But it's a big place so there was room for everyone. We made it there between 10 & 11 in the morning and stayed until around 8 PM. Yep, we cl

Future Writer?

I was finally able to renew my passport over the weekend. Instead of flying out of state, I was able to take advantage of the outreach program that the embassy has so we only had to drive about 2 hours to get to the venue, a hotel. Since I don't drive, hubby had to be with me to do it, with the little one in tow, of course. My appointment was in the afternoon so we had plenty of time to make it without waking up real early. We made it to the place with more than an hour to spare. I went straight to the registration even if I was that early. Daddy and the little one wandered around the hotel. Since we had plans of staying overnight in the area hubby inquired about their accommodations. It was good enough for us so they checked in while I was waiting for my turn to be called. As soon as I was done, I went to our room with a very happy little one opening the door for me. We don't stay at hotels often so she's thrilled whenever we stay in one...I'm quite the opposite. Anyw

Our Weekend....

...part of it anyway was spent watching these guys... ...and this little...I mean HUGE...guy! SHAMU! Can you guess where we went??? Will post more about it later on. I'm still trying to catch up on sleep after a not so goodnight sleep staying at a place away from home.

Job Hunting

Not me but a couple of people I know. One of them is a former student who I also privately tutored when I decided to quit regular teaching and do private tutoring instead so I could pursue a masters degree. Her parents let me stay in their vacant townhouse free of charge while I tutor their daughter so I developed a close relationship with the family. Anyway, this girl just quit her job for reasons unknown to me. She asked me if I could help her find something in her field - graphic design - although she's willing to try anything as long as it's something she can do. I wonder if she's willing to take on Veterinary Services Jobs though. I'm not sure if she'd be willing to work with animals because I'm seeing quite a few vacancies along that line. I should probably ask her if she wants to try that while she's in-between jobs. Who knows she may just find working with animals both enjoyable and fulfilling. I know for a fact that she loves dogs and cats. I'm