Thursday, October 20, 2016

This is Me: Part 1

     So, I am going to tell you my story. Not the highlight reel, but the authentic story that made me who I am today. I am still an unfinished product, for sure, and I have been actively working on myself this year.

      I was born in Illinois, in a Chicago suburb and moved to California the month that I turned seven. So, I have memories of snow, tornadoes, picking rhubarb from people's yards, and of beautiful, wonderful thunderstorms. We moved in 1976, so I have been a California girl longer than many of you have been alive :)  I am a mid-western girl at heart, but cannot stand the thought of living too far from the ocean. So, I stay here on the west coast.
My sisters and I on Halloween in Illinois. I am the leopard!
     I am married and have two kids, plus an extra kid. My youngest is eighteen, so we live in a home with five adults! The food expenses are everything you imagine them to be.

We also have seventeen pets! We have:
  • eight cats (Beethoven, Bandit, Francesca, Honey, Tobi, Ash, Bella, and Hachi)
  • three dogs (Rusty, Sandy, and Dixon)
  • one parrot (Geordi)
  • one rabbit (Thor)
  • four aquatic turtles (Kiki, Pepe, Tina, and Charlie)
You will see photos of everyone from time to time. We also had our dog, Murphy, and our cat, Autumn, cross the rainbow bridge this summer. 


A silly photo of me and Bella

     From the time I could pick up a book, I indulged in reading as often as I could. I devoured Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series and when I was old enough, I moved on to John Steinbeck, Stephen King, and James Herriot. When we would visit family, I would raid their bookshelves. Even now, I can hear my uncle saying, "There's Chrissy, in the corner with her nose in a book!".
     Besides books, my other great love was, and remains, animals. I loved them all - cats, dogs, horses, birds, rabbits, etc. My dream was to be a veterinarian when I grew up. That didn't happen, however, I did spend 15 years in the animal care business. Eight years of this time was spent at the west coast's largest (at the time) animal shelter. Some of you may not like me after this, or will unfollow me, and that is okay. This is my history and, like I said, makes me who I am today. It is also the reason that I have so many pets. Back in the '90s is when I worked for the animal shelter. Part of my job was putting animals to sleep. For anyone who thinks "I could NEVER do this, I love animals too much!" let me say this. You DO NOT want someone who hates animals doing this job. Let that sink in for a moment. Anyway, we had a feline distemper outbreak in the community, and at the shelter. Kittens were literally dropping dead from sickness. I had the most unpleasant job of euthanizing all of the kittens. It was HORRIBLE. I still cannot tell this story without crying (hell, I can't even write it without crying), even twenty years later. It is this, and other experiences, that lead to my pet "collection". Most of our babies were found, and there will be more, I expect. I have actually never, in my life, purposely sought after, and adopted, a cat. They were all found. 

My daughter helping our late horse, Missy, take a selfie

Murphy and Ash

Sandy and Rusty


Me and Bella

     For a long time I was somewhat hiding my pets from social media. I worried that if people knew that my business is pet friendly, perhaps they would not want to buy from me. This is such a major part of who I am though, and I want to show these guys off to the world!

     This is the who I am part of my story. Tomorrow I will have the why part! Please come back and check it out!

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