Too many thoughts, too little time.

Pit Bulls and Apartments


I’m looking at apartments. A lot allow pets. A good portion of those have breed and size restrictions. The size thing, I can kind of, sort of understand. But, I feel like maybe they should have kid restrictions too, because my 108 pound 9 year old jumps and clomps around far more than my 57 pound dog.

I live in a nice neighborhood. Lots of families, lots of dogs. The people directly behind us have 3 Chihuahuas. Those damn dogs have bitten my kids more times than I care to count. If we walk into our back yard, they growl.They used to run over and try to bite us, luckily the owners now have a fence. And, every time, Cassie runs over, picks up the dog, pets it, smothers is in kisses, laughs about how they “think they are vicious big dog” and takes them in the house. When is is nice out, and the windows are open, like now, you hear those dogs bark, ALL.DAY.LONG.

Two houses down is crazy lady. She has 3 dogs. I don’t know what they are. They are white, and really fuzzy and probably 30 pounds. She lets them out in the fenced yard all day. And they bark. Non-stop. Morning till night. She’s had animal care and control called on her more than once.

At the end of the culdesac is 4 dogs, in 4 houses. The two itty bitty dogs growl and bark nonstop. There is a pit bull. She barks when I walk by with Trixie. Not usually when I’m by myself though. I’ve never heard her any other time. The 4th house has a beagle. That is tied out, and runs, full speed, at who ever passes by. He pulled his tether out of the ground once, while Brad and I walked by. And he was growling like crazy. Then, he attacked Brad. Tore his hand up. I can carry on…the puggle that tried to bite Trixie when it broke free, and it’s neighbor, the little bitty terrier that, was never mean (even when it broke free), but both those dogs bark all the time. There is a gigantic…Akita? Maybe? Who barks when we pass. That’s it. He lives in a house with a fenced yard. This fence is the most laughable fence ever. But, he stays. The man with the labrodoodle, I see him out walking when I am. His dog is quiet the whole time. There is a family with a boxer, that is so well trained, they tell her to sit as we walk by and she does. Doesn’t move a muscle or make a sound.

I see a woman out quite often when I walk Trixie. She has 2 pit bulls. The dogs never make noise. The walk nicely on a leash. But, when we see each other, she waves me ahead, while she takes a few steps back, or a different route all together, with the explanation her dogs don’t do well with other dogs.

So, what is the score here? 11 loud, annoying (and often mean) dogs that would be allowed. A labrodoodle, who might make it on breed but not size. And, 6 large, quiet,well behaved dogs who wouldn’t be allowed.

I always hear that pit bulls are bad because if they bite they will cause so much damage. By that logic, we should ban SUVs as well, because if they hit another car they will cause so much damage. and, you are far more likely to die, or be severely harmed by an SUV than by a pit bull.

I was nervous about Trixie, you hear so much bad about them. When was she going to flip and kill us in our sleep? I started doing research. My ex has a blood hound. This dog makes Trixie look like a baby. He is SO big, and SO lazy and laid back. I’ve watched a lab play tug of war with his ears and him sleep through it. Blood Hounds were the original “dangerous killing machines”.

I looked at the deaths that have been caused by pit bulls. As far as I’ve found, not ONE has been by a lone, female, spayed, family pet. I don’t have the research in front of me, but I don’t think any of them have been caused by a lone, neutered, male, family pet either. A VAST majority have been intact males. Often in groups of two or more. The “pets” involved are usually owned by a family. And, kept on chains in the back yard.

Trixie loves tug of war and gets aggressive while trying to win. But, never mean. Once, she got something off the floor…a grape? an M&M? something she wasn’t supposed to have. I said “Trixie! No!” and I rushed over, pulled her jaw open and took the food away. I still have all my fingers. I’ve been trying to get her to hold a piece of food on her nose. Sometimes, she gets over eager and takes it too soon. I haven’t let her have it. Again, still have all my fingers. We’ve taken her on 11 hour car rides and she doesn’t make a sound. She’s stayed in hotels…again, she is silent. When walking down the halls etc. she is perfectly behaved. We got in the elevator once with a man taking breakfast up to his room. Bacon, sausage, eggs. She sat and waited for our floor. I don’t remember what happened, but,she jumped up on Brad, and she got Brad’s wrist in her mouth. You should have seen this dog try to figure out how to get down, without falling, or closing her mouth. Her worst habit is she jumps on people to kiss them when they walk through the door. Adults that visit are used to it. She knocks over a lot of 3 year olds. I have strange kids come up to me CONSTANTLY when we have her out. Always asking to pet her. I always say they can. And, she just licks.

There are a lot of bad owners. And, unfortunately, the bad owners have bad dogs. Often, aggressive dogs. But, I think a lot of the good owners, who have aggressive breeds, or even just big breeds, are anal about how they behave. We know our dogs won’t get too many chances. We KNOW the damage they can cause, and we don’t actually want other people to get hurt. When the dog nips, we don’t laugh and say “awww, she thinks she is protecting me!” If we know the dog has tendency to be mean to other dogs, we don’t let them around other dogs. We take steps back off the trail to let the other dogs pass. We use a muzzle. We make the dog sit, before we let the random 4 yr old come up to pet.

Unfortunately, we are stuck until people pick a new breed to hate. Maybe we don’t get an apartment, we end up renting a house. I just wish people judged the dog on how they act, not what they are. Trixie has all her shots. She’s never shown aggression towards people. She is fixed. She is quiet. We take her out with us all the time. When places have outdoor seating, we take that, and she comes along. She sits by the table, and waits for scraps. That’s it. If we could bring her to meet the owner/manager/whatever, I don’t think we’d have any problems getting a place. But, instead, there is a blanket ban. And, that sucks.


I stepped on the scale this morning. 198.6.

The last time I weighed that I was 18 and had just had a baby. I steadily gained for the next 5 years or so. Getting to about 275.  I kicked out my ex and lost about 25 pounds pretty easily. But, without working on it, my body seems pretty content to stay at 250. When I met Brad I was 225 or so, I was working out a lot at the time, eating like crap though.

Then, we settled into that new relationship rut. You know, where you want to sit on the sofa and stare at each other. Of course I didn’t go to the gym, what if I missed time with him? Because I hadn’t changed my eating habits, the Mountain Dew and the milk shakes quickly caught back up, and I was 250 at our wedding. I was really unhappy with that. So, I started over. Made little progress over the next 8 months.

I got my fitbit for our first anniversary, and then I really started trying. The first year was great, I lost a lot, quickly. The second year, I felt like it was 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I felt like I wasn’t losing any weight. I was, but it was the same 5 pounds over and over. But, i decided if I had to work THAT hard to not gain 5 pounds I sure couldn’t give up, otherwise I’d balloon up in no time. A broken foot, mouth surgery, and an MS diagnosis and I still tried to lose weight.

The MS thing scared me. And, it isn’t a weight related disease. But, I realized, I fall a lot, did I really want to be 300 pounds and flailing around in the parking lot because I’d fallen and couldn’t get back up? Did I want to sit on the scooter thing at the store on days I can’t walk and have people think “You wouldn’t be so fat if you just walked around the store”? Did I want my husband to need help when I needed picked up? No, to all of those.

So, I amped up my efforts in Jan.

I’ve lost 25 pounds since the beginning of the year. I now weigh less than my driver’s license says I do.

I’ve lost 52 pounds total, so far.

I’m the smallest I’ve ever been as an adult.

This is the smallest my husband or kids have ever seen me.

I bought clothes in the children’s department recently.

My husband picks me up and carries me around for fun.

I had to change my eating habits, because I can’t exercise every day. I try, but if I overdo it, I’ll pay for it.

Yesterday, I went out for lunch with my aunt, who is very overweight. She recently lost about 25 pounds as well, but, that still leaves her very heavy. We walked in to the restaurant, and she walked so slow. We ate, and eventually left. We walked up to pay, but there was a line, so, we just stood still for several minutes. Then we left, we walked from the register to the handicapped parking. When we sat down in the car, she was out of breath.

That made me really sad for her. She has struggled with her weight the whole time I’ve been alive. She’s had health problems because of it. As we drove back to my house, I realized, again, I have the same genetics. I’m not somebody who will every be “naturally” thin. I really am a string of bad choices and lazy days away from 350 pounds. And I’m short! It won’t take much for me to be bigger around than I am up and down! I thought losing 50 pounds was hard, I don’t want to have to face losing 250. I don’t want diabetes. I don’t want to walk that slowly (though, life is a bitch, because no matter how much weight I’ve lost, on bad days, guess what? I walk that slowly.)

So, I came home, and I threw my left overs in the trash, and made a healthy dinner. Though, I was proud of even having left overs.

I Did It

I think of my siblings in 3 groups. I am the oldest. Then next 5 I think of like siblings. The next two are mine. I raised those kids while my mother took 6 hour shopping trips, 3 hour naps, and the rest of the day was 7th Heaven marathons. While I love the youngest 2, they are always my kids’ friends.

But those 2 older teenagers. I was there helping to teach them to walk. I was listening to them practice reading. I was taking them out for lunch and tucking them in and reading bedtime stories. I was the one pulling Hulk from under my bed when dad would yell and scare him and he’d hide.

I haven’t spoken to my parents since July.

This morning, Hulk came by with Skillet tickets. He wants to take the boys, and hang out for awhile.

This afternoon the doorbell rang, I opened it to see Bane (he is awesome at Halloween lol). I grabbed to hug him he smiled “I got my license Kate.”

People asked me so many times why I didn’t cut my parents out of my life sooner. They are why. I remember telling my first husband. I just needed them to grow up enough to remember me. To decide they wanted a relationship with me.

I did it. They do. They remember me. They want to see me. Nobody is making them come over.

I did it.


spread wings

March is Multiple Sclerosis awareness month.

I’m definitely aware of it now. I completely over did it this week. 5 hr drives Monday and Wednesday. Hiking, gym, and hot tub on Tuesday. I tried to eat well, but I couldn’t as well as usual, and didn’t drink enough water. Today I’m too tired to do much of anything. It is usually my grocery shopping day, and I just don’t have the energy.

The weird thing about the “Awareness” is, I don’t even know what people should do. Breast cancer awareness, ok, you look for lumps and family history. A lot of the awareness stuff is pay attention. But MS? Are you normal, only more so? I mean, do you trip and fall? Well, how often? How badly? Are you ever fatigued? Are you more fatigued than other people, whose body you are not in? Is your normal different than everyone else?How do you know? If you answered yes to anything, you might have a disease, or you might be normal.

Let me say this then…MS is invisible. I look normal. It is a stupid disease that makes me feel like a fraud.

Most the time, I’m fine. I will get dressed up in sky high heels and a skirt and do my make up to go out for dinner with my husband, often. And, other times, I will be in yoga pants, because everything else hurts to wear. I will be in hiking boots, because they keep my foot from dragging when I walk.

Sometimes, I can be in the gym for 2 hours straight. Other times, I need my cane to walk into the grocery store.

I managed to graduate college while unknowingly having this, but, I can’t put together sentences other times. Simple ones. I point a lot.

Sometimes just regular life is too much. If you try to talk to me, while i’m cooking, while i have the music on, while the kids are playing a video game, while the dishwasher and washing machine are running, while the dog is barking, I will pretty much shut down. Want to see me unable to form a sentence? That’s a good time to try to make me.

Sometimes, I have to tell my husband his arm around my shoulders is too much, it hurts too much, can he please stop trying to touch me?

I know going to the comedy club (or, well, anything that ends in “club”) is going to be too much for me. So, my best friend no, every time she invites me out, and feel guilty, because I am fine with my regular day.

It means turning down a girl’s weekend in Vegas, because, I don’t really know the other 3 girls going, and I don’t want to spoil everyone else’s fun by walking slow, by falling over, by needing a nap. I know my best friend would be understanding, but, it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else.

At the risk of TMI, I go numb, a lot. Especially my left side. It isn’t really even a big deal to me anymore, I’m used to it. But, it is really hard to tell your husband “I love you, I love being with you, I will, but, tonight, I won’t be able to feel sex.”

I am so randomly good, then bad, that I don’t want to tell people anything. I don’t want to explain why I am well enough to do *this* thing that I want, but not well enough to do *that* thing, that they want. That is where the feeling like a fraud comes in. Last week, I walked around the giant mall with the kids, we we went to look at some cars for fun, I cleaned the house, I did Zumba, I was on my feet all day. We put the kids to bed. Brad wanted to go to the store, for a couple things. I told him I wanted to go with him, but I had crashed. Every step I took felt like I had cement blocks tied to my shoes. I could only go if he’d push me around in a wheel chair. If not, I needed to sleep and we’d go in the morning.

Yesterday, I needed my cane. But, the dog doesn’t walk well with my cane. We had to pack to leave the hotel, and she was going nuts and pulling, etc. So, I had my cane when we went to breakfast, but, knowing Trixie would end up hurting me and pulling me off balance later, I walked without it. I CAN walk without it.I really can. But, I stumble, and I lose my balance (on the bad days) So, breakfast, I need a cane. an hour later, I’m walking a pit bull and loading my car up, with luggage, without a cane.

None of these are even complaints, it is what it is, and I know it and deal with it. This is my life, and looks can be deceiving. But, I’m telling you all this because I have heard “why can you do *this* but not *that*?” I’ve seen the little woman,  climb out of the big truck, in the handicapped space at the store and heard “Don’t look handicapped to me.”, I’ve made fun of the people (in my head) cruising for the closest space at the gym, and now I understand. walking is exhausting, but, the modified gym classes, or the pool are ok. If you save your energy for them.

So, just be aware, not all disabilities are obvious.

I read somewhere it takes someone with MS 5 times more energy to do something, than it does someone without. So, yes, I was awesome, until about 1pm. And, then I used up all my energy for the day. But, somedays I will do better.


A memory came to me recently. It kind of solidified in my mind that it is ok to want to change my name. Honestly, I will probably never do it legally. I don’t even know where I would begin to start changing paperwork and bank accounts, etc. Then, there are things I will probably never think about. My best friend has me down as the person who will handle her life insurance for her kids if something happens to her.

My name is Kirby. There is no story. There is no cute reason. It isn’t a nickname or short for anything. Yes, it is more common for boys. I have a bunch of siblings, they all have strange names. But, my name is the only one that never either became common, or has a shortened form that is common.

I remember when one of my siblings was going to be born. My parents wanted to name the baby Chance if it was a boy. I remember saying it was an ok name, but it was better for a girl. And they told me it wasn’t. That Chance for a girl would invite a bunch of inappropriate comments. How someday men might take it as a dare, to take a “Chance”. I thought that was stupid then, but, I didn’t really put things together until I was talking to Brad one day.

Chance was inappropriate? My name is Kirby.

You know what it means to go through life with that name?

It means grown-ass men will wink and make jokes you don’t quite understand at 16 (but look 23) about how you got that nickname.

You will work in a bar, and have to tell a group of drunk men your name, and they will nudge each other, and joke and all of a sudden pay a lot more attention to you.

You will say “Hi, I’m Kirby” and some jerk will respond with “Kirby, huh? I bet. So, you wanna come over later and give me a demonstration of your sucking abilities.”

How about “I didn’t know that’s what they were selling”

Maybe “I bet you give an amazing blow job, who nicknamed you that?”

Oh…”I don’t remember your name…hoover, dyson, kirby, you suck something.”

I have about 15 years of being reduced to little more than a sex toy to others, because of nothing more than my name.

And, my parents and siblings have the nerve to be offended that I want to change my name. I was told outright, that I would NOT be called that. That I would still be introduced as Kirby. (back when I was still speaking to them).

You know the really “funny” thing? I wasn’t allowed to wear SO many things as a teenager. Because, that might make men thing the wrong thing. Men shouldn’t be thinking of me like that. I needed to have more respect. Yeah…when I was 17 and skinny, a man may have thought “Damn! I’d do her” when I had on a pair of shorts that didn’t quite reach my fingertips. But, 1. other people’s thoughts are not my responsibility. and 2. very ,very few men think it is ok to say that sort of thing, when you can’t pretend it’s a joke and I need to just lighten up. Got it. Short shorts cause sin. But, it is ok for me to have a name that makes a  majority of men automatically think of me giving a blow job.

If my mother puts on make-up or curls her hair, there is a fight that lasts hours, about how she must want to cheat. if my dad comes home 5 minutes late, there is a huge blow up about how he must be cheating. Somehow I doubt my husband appreciates these comments about his wife.But, changing my name is just because I “think I’m better than everyone”. and because I don’t “think anything my parents do is good enough”.

I was telling this to Brad the other day, and he asked “Is that part of why you won’t meet my co-workers?” I had to admit, that yes it was. I hate introducing myself to new people. On a good day I get “That’s cute.” but that’s rare. On a normal day, I get a laugh, and a “You’re kidding, right?”, “Isn’t that a boy’s name?” or “What’s that short for?”

I was thinking about it, partially because if I want to legally change my name, I need to explain WHY. I know there are pat answers, that make it almost always get approved. But, part of me wants to say “Because I’m tired of introducing myself and then being asked for a blow job.” Seems like that would push the paperwork through quickly.



I had a big long post…to justify how I was feeling. But, honestly, it is irrelevant. Today I am sad. And I am lonely.I have a million reasons, things I can whine about, but my feelings are valid. Long story short, I have a huge family/extended family, and I’m invisible.

I’m pretty much used to it. Today, I took the kids ice skating when a man stood up as we were leaving. He said “You were here a couple weeks ago. I’m Dan.” And, shook my hand. And, I almost cried walking to the car…so often I feel invisible. Like, seriously, I could build a little house in the woods in the middle of no where, and never have another phone or computer, and no one would notice. I know I’m pretty generic looking, I look like someone you already know. So, the fact I was noticed, when I was feeling like a ghost, was really nice.

I’m not good at making friends, plus I’d been told for 25+ yrs I’d always have my huge family. So, I never tried very hard. But now, lines have been drawn and my side has me, Brad, the boys, my best friend and the dog. They have everyone else.

How do you make friends when people drain you? When being drained and exhausted make the disease worse? When this stupid disease has made me sound like an idiot most of the time, you know, when I can’t remember big, complicated words like “garage” or “coffee” so I stammer and stutter and point and say things like “the room with the car?”. When I don’t like to go anywhere, because I might fall down without any warning.

Can I just wear a big sign that says “I’m not drunk, I promise. And yeah, I’m pretty awkward, but I’m mostly nice. I won’t talk to you first, because I don’t want to bother or annoy anyone.”

God, I sound lame.


Who I am…

I wrote this awhile ago, just for me. Yesterday, I was crying to a friend, over a betrayal and a lost friendship and she said” Katie, you’re a remarkable young woman who has made a wonderful life for yourself and your immediate family. You understand that you can’t save people from themselves–that’s huge. I’m sorry you’re sad, but keep living authentically and leave them to god.”

This all came to mind yesterday as I walked my dog around the park. It was cold, and snowing. We were about a mile into our walk. The park road was marked with paint from a race that had finished months earlier. I contemplated running another 5k. I realized how strange it was that I was enjoying myself at that moment. As I thought about it, I realized how many things I truly enjoyed that I wasn’t “allowed” to, and how many things I didn’t like that I was always told I had to.

I had a long intro, but, it is mainly stuff I’ve said before. So, basically, what you need to know is I was raised with these lines, in response to everything… “It is too expensive.”, “It is a waste of time/money.” “Why? you think you are so much better than us?”, “Well, God said…”, “You aren’t strong enough to stand up to people.”, “Your family needs to be the most important thing, not friends.”, “If you don’t like America, leave.”, “2nd Amendment”, “Stupid animals”, “that’s just irresponsible”, “do something useful”. So, as you read this, know that I didn’t know before that this was me, because if I liked, or expressed an interest (or disinterest) in any of these things, I heard one of those retorts.

  •  I’m Katie. I like taking long walks. It isn’t a waste of time. I’m not “overdoing” it. It is my “me” time. I like to use it to think, and listen to music.
  •  I like the gym, and I like the classes. It isn’t a waste of money.
  •  I love my pit bull. She is a part of the family. She isn’t a dumb animal. She isn’t mean or vicious. I love dressing her up, different color bandanas for everyday. And, clothes.  And, I do not regret the purple hoodie I bought her yesterday at all.
  •  My best friend is an Atheist. Believe it or not, she hasn’t tried to make me one. But, she has brought me balloons and a milk shake after I was sick. She did come to visit me every day after work and helping her son with his homework, while I was in the hospital. She came early to help me with a party. And, gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts ever for Christmas. I have another friend, we aren’t super close, but we get along. She has mentioned praying for me, like when I was in the hospital. She prays to Allah.
  •  Speaking of, it is hard to be all “America Rocks. Suck it everybody else!” When she is from Malaysia and thinks it is amazing. When my husband has said he wouldn’t become American if it meant giving up Australian citizenship. My father-in-law has British citizenship.
  •  I like football. I like watching it with my husband, even though I don’t understand much beyond the fact a bunch of big guys try to get the ball to one end, while a different bunch of big guys in different colors try to get the ball to the other end. It isn’t a waste of time. It is time I get to spend with my guys.
  •  I like reading and hate watching most tv. I don’t think I’m “better than everyone” because I’d rather read than watch tv.
  •  I hate mossy oak and real tree camo being worn as fashion.
  •  I don’t like guns at all.
  •  I don’t like crowds, and can only tolerate them for a little while before my arm starts to go numb. And, yes, I realize how strange that sounds.
  •  I like the coffee I make at home best, but I like Starbucks for the atmosphere. Once my husband and I went there, with a bag of candy we both liked and a new crossword book. We spent a couple hours there. It was one of my favorite dates.
  •  I love taking my car to get the oil changed. I also love taking it to get washed. Once, I was sad because I had been looking forward to taking my car to the car wash, and Brad left to put gas in my car. He came back and he had gotten my car washed. I missed getting all the salt off it.I love cooking and trying new recipes. I like seeing how healthy or how colorful I can make a meal. I don’t want a chef. But, I would love someone to follow me around and wash the dishes.
  •  I love falling asleep on Brad’s chest at night while he plays shoot ‘em up video games. Contrary to popular opinion, I think putting an xbox in our bedroom was one of the best decisions we’ve made. We go to bed at the same time now, he gets his video game time, and I get my 8 hrs of sleep, in my bed. I like how he has to cuddle me to have his arms around me AND play the game. So, I don’t think the xbox is stupid, or a waste of money, or immature.
  •  I love drawing and writing. I don’t care how good I am at either.
  •  I love hiking and sitting by the river. I love new areas where I can search for waterfalls.
  •  I like playing paintball and coaching the 4th grade soccer team.
  •  I like taking my kids to the animal shelter and letting them play with the cats.
  •  I like road trips for the sake of the drive.
  •  I love quiet hotel rooms in cities I’ve never been to before and the forced down time of my husband having the rental car to get to work so all I can do is go places my legs can take me.
  •  I like waking up early, and going to sleep fairly early. I like the quiet and the darkness of being the first one up.
  •  I love school, and research and writing research papers. If I could just take a couple electives at the college every semester forever, I probably would.
  •  I homeschool my kids, not because public schools are evil or inadequate, not to keep them from learning about different ideas, not to isolate them; I homeschool them because I can’t imagine telling them “no, you need to sit in class, we can’t go to the museum.” Because, we are blessed with amazing opportunities and I don’t want them to miss it.
  •  I like looking pretty in dresses. I think however I’m happiest in a long hippie skirt and a fitted tank top. Second choice is a pair of perfectly fitting jeans, a cardigan, and fuzzy socks. If I could, I’d wear the first outfit all summer and the second all winter. Actually, I’m working on that.
  •  I actually really love the Tiffany gift card Brad gets every year from Delta. I don’t care that I just spent $200 on sunglasses while most my clothes are from Walmart. But, I also love the jewelry he brings me home sometimes that I know came out of the clearance section of the fine jewelry.
  •  I love water. It centers me. Sometimes I just need to be near it. The beach, a stream, a river, a lake, and if I can find a waterfall I can stare for hours. Whenever I feel like my world is falling apart, odds are really good you will find me sitting on a riverbank somewhere.
  •  In short, I like physical activity, intellectual pursuits, travel and animals. All things I’ve been told my whole life are a waste of time or money and/or made me snobby and only show I think I’m better than everyone.


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