Category Archives: Light My Fire

Riddle Master Update

Ridley does not recognize Day Light Savings time. We should be getting an extra hour sleep but instead, I’ve already had my coffee because once I’m awake, I’m awake. It’s hard to stay mad at someone so especially cute though. He’s technically correct and it’s our usual time to get up and start the workday.

So, I thought, what better time to post a Ridley update? He has made a few appearances in posts but nothing substantial.

This boy is an absolute snuggle master. I’ve never had a dog that tried their best to melt into you. He loves kisses and boops my face when I haven’t given him enough. Seriously, each check, his forehead and sides and top of his nose must be kissed before he’s satisfied. He will happily sleep on top of myself or Mr. C&M which has been something to get used to. He sometimes lays his muzzle on top of my mouth and nose while I’m sleeping. I keep telling myself he’s not trying to snuff me out, but I could be wrong. There are worse ways to go.

In the beginning of October, we had a medical emergency with Ridley. What the vet thought to be torn soft tissue from a bad jump, ended up being an abscess that ruptured 36 hours later. Of course, after the vet was closed. Luckily for us, we have a vet tech friend that I was able to call. She walked us through how to take care of him until morning. If you’ve never experienced an abscess rupture, it’s horrifying, and I will never forget that smell. By the time we saw the vet the next day, they pretty much said to keep doing what we were already doing and added painkillers and antibiotics. This meant keeping him bandaged while the wound finished draining (days) and keeping him calm until the wound healed on its own.

After the initial horror show, he was a model patient. The first night, I was the only one he allowed to bandage him. The pain brought back his association of pain with men, and he would not allow Mr. C&M to touch him the first night. Later, he sweetly apologized to his dad for being mean by sulking up to him and covering him in kisses. From then on, we had no more issues taking care of him. (In the second picture above, you can see his injured shoulder after it closed up.)

November 12th will be 3 months since we rescued him. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind but we’re making baby step progress. The injury definitely set him back socially. The pain triggered his mistrust of humans again. So, it’s like we’re starting fresh and that’s okay. Recovery can’t be rushed.

BEEFCAKE.

He is finally at a healthy weight. He hasn’t been to the vet since his injury, but I think he’s right around 47 pounds. (He was only 30 when he arrived at the shelter. Skin and bones.)

Animal rescue is a journey. He’s recovery won’t happen overnight, but I am so glad to have this boy in my life. He’s an absolute clown and love bug. I can’t wait to share the holidays with him. He’s going to love it.

Lazy Rivers & Plague Doctors

The weekend following Labor Day (yes, I’m STILL catching up) was Riptide 2022 at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. It’s a several day competition of Rivals of Aether and Smash Brothers. Mr. C&M competed and the rest of us got to tag along at a significantly reduced price thanks to the tournament. Mr. and Mrs. Ignited Moth kindly joined us and made the long weekend SO much more fun.

For two days, we had the entire waterpark pretty much to ourselves. No lines for the slides, no one else cruising the lazy river. No children screaming. THAT was the life. Swim up bars might be my new favorite thing. Especially when it was actually a swim up hot tub. I think our bones were cooked to jelly by the time we left.

It was the relaxing weekend (except for Mr. C&M, he was stressed competing) that we all needed. We plan to make this an annual event.

Note to anyone thinking of going to Kalahari – the booze is very expensive and only one drink was really worth the money. Food was also expensive but incredibly good. There is plenty to do in the resort. We didn’t leave other than to get supplies for the entire 4 days we were there. The arcade is NOT worth it. The crane machines purposely drop your grab halfway to the hole, every single time. How did we get the plushies below? TOO much money and some were purchased at the convention.

I’ve also decided to keep a travel notebook. It’s a fun way to track what we did while on vacation and also a good reference guide for when we return to places. (This place had amazing food! This place was garbage!)

Does anyone else keep a travel notebook? What fun things do you keep in there?

Special thanks to the Moths for making our weekend an absolute blast and being the BEST travel buddies! ❤

A River Runs Through It

Oh yeah, I totally jacked that title just because a river runs through my town.

The last couple of weeks have felt very hectic. We’ve been doing something every weekend, so it was good to take a morning and sit by the river. Mr. C&M loves to fish, so he fed all his worms to the nice fish while I took pictures and just soaked in calm, lazy river atmosphere.

What was your favorite thing that you did this past week/weekend?

Happy Place

Welcome to my new happy place folks. Mr. C&M and I were wandering around, checking out state parks and happened across this secluded fellow.

It’s a state park and waterfowl preserve. Certain times of the year, endangered bird species come here to reproduce. No boats allowed and you can only fish during certain months of the year (the ones opposite of breeding season). So, Mr. C&M took up his reel and caught a decent number of perch and sunfish while I wandered around taking pictures of everything under the sun with my fancy camera. (These are phone photos.)

A small herd of deer came down and walked through the water, not caring very much that I was there. A great blue heron flew back and forth across the lake catching his breakfast. Massive bullfrogs called to one another and there were red-winged blackbirds everywhere. The air randomly smelled of wild roses. It was perfect and it’s only 20 minutes from our house. With gas prices being so high, this is probably where you will find us for most of the summer.

For anyone interested, there is a wonderful app called iNaturalist, where you can take pictures of plants and search their database in order to learn what you’re looking at. That is how I learned that this lovely purple flower is called Spiderworts. Not sure what it did to deserve that name but there you have it.

I hope you’re finding peace in your day-to-day. ❤

Pulled

Potted, Planted, Pulled. We have a theme going with titles here. Everything is plant related recently. I hope you’re enjoying it because it’s what I have going on right now.

I’m still plucking away at Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb. It’s 700+ pages and I’m only sitting down to read it once or twice a week.

This past weekend was the last Saturday to go harvest invasive species at the local fen. I went the week before that however a thunderstorm rolled in. It was the day after a tornado hit the town where I grew up, so I wasn’t so trusting that Mother Nature would be gentle even though another volunteer claimed that, “We’re here to help Mother Nature, she will take care of us.” I bailed.

Pretty field, yes? This is the plant we were pulling. Beautiful, but invasive, Dame’s Rocket.

After that, we spent the entire Memorial Day weekend with Mr. and Mrs. Moth at their place. We bowled, we partied, we ate fantastic food, and we had a drunken night in the hot tub. It was exactly what we needed.

When was your last forest adventure and what was your favorite thing that you saw?

Planted

You guys. I am out of control.

I made friends with the owner of a nursery in town. He’s going to supply all my crazy ideas I have brewing. This is probably trouble.

Sunday, I spent several hours weeding, transplanting lilies and planting annuals. I somehow pulled a muscle in my neck doing it and am now living on ibuprofen.

As you can see, I went with a black, purple and yellow color scheme. (Our house is pale yellow.) this year I chose pansies and a new discovery to me, double petunias. I highly dislike petunias but DOUBLE petunias are cool and apparently hail from Victorian times. SOLD.

I also purchased four sweet basil plants and a rosemary plant.

My zinnias are sprouting but no sign of the pepper plants yet.

We also have a new plan for a part of our backyard that doesn’t grow much grass.

SEND HELP.

What is your favorite flower?

Potted

The quest this summer is maximum living. I’m on a never-ending quest of fun. (Outside of work because I can’t escape that currently.) Photography, dog training, hiking, disc golf, hanging out with friends, volunteering, traveling, etc.

See? That’s quite a bit of stuff planned.

Why not add one more thing to that list?!

While I’ve been planning to transplant some lilies and eventually pop some annuals in for easy color, I wasn’t planning on going gardening crazy. Then, I was at the store for something completely unrelated, I began flicking through their seeds for sale. They were cheap and here we are:

Mr. C&M requested the cherry tomato plants. So, for our first ever veggie garden (I had them when I was little, before I met my husband. My grandparents were big gardeners) we’re attempting to grow tomatoes and a variety of peppers. As food prices continue to grow, I thought it an advantageous venture. We’ll see what happens!

This past weekend was great. We spent a lot of time with friends, but it all started with going out to a super fancy restaurant as a belated birthday gift. It’s been a minute since we had a date night, and the food was beyond amazing. The desserts were absolutely to die for and we’re planning a dessert and drinks night with Mr. and Mrs. Moth sometime in the future.

Behold! My chocolate berry cake. That’s a chocolate cake with a citrus ganache and mixed berry sorbet. In the background, Mr. C&M’s super fancy pineapple upside cake.

What is the best dessert you’ve had recently??

Attacking the Invasion

I have a LOT of plans for the summer. Sometimes, it’s hard to decide which thing to tackle first. I recently came across a volunteer opportunity near my home and decided, yes, I will be doing that. (I would really love to volunteer at an animal shelter but I’m not ready for that yet. It also requires more of a commitment.)

Yesterday, I met up with other volunteers at a local nature preserve. It’s a fen, so it’s partly covered with water. (Which means I had to go out and buy new muck boots.) We got to go to the less traveled part of the preserve and pull-out garlic mustard and dame’s rocket, both of which are invasive species in Michigan. They choke out our natural flora, so it was time for battle. Turns out your girl is a weed whacking warrior. I thought I was slacking but when we all returned to our vehicles, I noticed I had the second fullest bag of the bunch. The only person that beat me was a guy who worked for the conservancy. People kept offering to carry my bag for me since it was so large, but I needed the workout, so I held onto it. Here is the beast:

One of my big missions this summer is to get out in nature more and with this volunteering effort, I will be out there every Saturday until the end of the month. (Aside from next Saturday because I work.) Then, in the fall, we return to harvest honeysuckle.

So, expect lots of nature pictures over the summer friends.

Currently Reading:

Have you began attacking your summer plans yet??

California 2022

FINALLY had an out-of-state vacation. Our last adventure outside of our state was New York in 2019. It felt good to adventure again but an almost 5-hour plane flight is just TOO much. I really don’t know how some people spend 10-20 hours on a plane. I guess I will have to slowly build my tolerance if I ever want to get across the globe.

The original reason we chose this location is because Mr. C&M wanted to hit the biggest (second biggest?) video game fighting competition in the country. Genesis. So really, the location chose us. Genesis decided it would be in San Jose, so that is where we made our plans. We met up with THREE online friends and their significant others, which was really cool. We’ve made a few really great friends online so it’s always exciting to meet up with people, even if some people aren’t as cool as others. The boys all won their first matches and one friend made it all the way to 25th place. (I should mention they were playing Rivals of Aether.)

There were quite a few adventures had, but this just highlights a couple of them.

We spent Easter, exploring a redwoods grove like a bunch of hippies and we loved every second of it. If there was one reason I would move to California, it would be to be a mountain hermit. That forest was magical.

Monday, my 35th birthday, we spent the day in San Francisco until we had to fly out later that night on a redeye. First, we went to Pier 39 and had lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp. Alcatraz hung out in the background while we ate.

After, I FINALLY saw sea lions in person! They smell. They also appear to only sleep or fight and occasionally swim. It was still exciting. I’ve wanted to see them since I was little and did a presentation on them.

We ended the adventures with a trip to the California Academy of Sciences. There was a biodome rainforest, planetarium (we missed that show), and a sweet aquarium.

There is SO much to see and do, just in the little section that we saw of California that I am positive we’ll have to return to check out more. Perhaps we’ll make our way back out there for Genesis next year. We’ll see. Either way, thank you for a fantastic birthday California! ❤

Vacation Incoming!

We were supposed to be running off to California in a few days however Covid-19 had other plans and the gaming competition we were supposed to go to has been postponed until April, right around my birthday.

Despite that, we’re still taking the time off because work sucks and we need time to get our lives back under some form of control.

Usually, my vacation post is to mention that I will be MIA for a little bit, but I actually think I will try to blog more while I’m off. I haven’t posted in almost 10 days because the workload for school has been heavier this semester but I’m actually enjoying the classes so I’m not pulling my hair out. Yet, anyway.

I’m currently working on rereading The Goblet of Fire with Ms. Moth for our annual Harry Potter reread. By annual, I mean we read about 1 book in the series a year but it’s usually around this time.

For now, I leave you with my snow boy doing snow boy things. ❤