Bad Roommates – Lorraine

Copyright: khosrork

The third and final installment in my blog series on nightmare roommates is devoted to Lorraine, a woman with a whole host of mental issues, a nasty attitude, and a sense of entitlement the size of Texas. When my other roommate Myra (who is incidentally the best roommate I have ever had, and a very dear friend) and I met Lorraine, we could see that she was pretty dramatic, but we both attributed it to the fact that she was a professional dancer. We all seemed to get along nicely though, and Lorraine moved in.

About a month after Lorraine moved in, a bizarre incident occurred. Myra and I were in the kitchen chatting, and at one point I opened up the freezer to get a bag of shrimp out to thaw. When I did so, I noticed that two bags of ground coffee which I had bought had been opened. I pulled them out of the freezer and noticed that one bag had about 2 tablespoons left in it, while the other had just over a teaspoon. I asked Myra if she had opened up the bags of coffee, and she told me that she hadn’t, to which I replied, “Ok, it had to have been Lorraine. I’ll talk to her later about it.” Myra and I continued to chat about other topics, and I started the thawing process on the shrimp.

A few minutes later, Lorraine stomped down the stairs, looking very angry. She said, “Oh my God, so you’re talking about me behind my back?” Myra and I just looked at each other, because we were both so taken aback by Lorraine’s accusation. I told Lorraine, “Oh not at all, I just figured I’d talk to you about the whole coffee thing, because the coffee which is in the main tin is what is community property, not the unopened bags I have in the freezer.” Lorraine immediately retorted, “YOU said the coffee was for EVERYONE. Well, you know what? I won’t touch ANY of your stuff ever again!”, then marched back up the stairs and slammed her door. Two minutes later, her door opened, and she came down the stairs with her phone in hand, yelling to the person on the other line (turned out it was her grandmother) that she couldn’t take it anymore, that she had just been disrespected, etc. She went down to the first floor, slammed the front door, and was gone for several minutes. Then she re-entered the house, still on the phone, still yelling at her grandmother, went up to her bedroom on the third floor and slammed the door. This pattern continued for another 15 minutes or so, in which she would come up the stairs, slam her door, then walk down the stairs and outside repeatedly.

Lorraine refused to talk to Myra or me for a couple of weeks, then she sent a series of text messages to us both in which she apologized profusely for her outburst, told us she loved and respected us both, and wanted good blood between us. I was startled by Lorraine’s complete change in behavior and began developing a mistrust of her behavior, especially because she would often burst into the house yelling at someone on the phone. She suffered from severe depression and also developed some strange physical symptoms which she was sure stemmed from some deadly and incurable disease.

Incident number two occurred several months after the first one. Lorraine had informed me that the latch on the sliding glass door which led to our balcony wasn’t working, and she asked me to look at it when I got home. I had been working all weekend at a fitness expo and had gotten into a heated argument with my booth mate during the drive back, so I was in no mood to repair a sliding glass door latch. Nevertheless, Lorraine chose to ignore the fact that I was in a bad mood, and badgered me to take a look at the latch. I fiddled with the latch for a couple of minutes but was unable to fix it, and I told her that I would look at it later. Lorraine promptly started screaming, “WHAT? WHAT? That’s unacceptable! You don’t talk to me like that!”, and I was completely stunned by her outburst. She ran upstairs, slammed her door, then opened it a couple of minutes later, stormed down the stairs and out the front door, her phone in hand, yelling at her grandmother about what a bitch I was. She continued this up the stairs, down the stairs ritual numerous times in the span of about ten minutes. Once again, I got the silent treatment from Lorraine for about two weeks, followed by a stream of apology texts.

The third time Lorraine went off on me was after she had been living in the house for over a year. I had returned from a trip to Denver late at night, and I was exhausted. I was at the kitchen sink washing cat dishes, when Lorraine entered the house, walked up to the second floor, and with a flourish, said “Hello…” (her typical tone when she was begging for attention), to which I replied, “Oh, hi.” She said, “What are you doing?”, and I replied that I was washing cat dishes, that I had just gotten home from a trip. Suddenly, she said, “No NO NO! I don’t like your ENERGY! I don’t have to put up with this bullshit!”, and she clumped up the stairs. You guessed it, Lorraine made a phone call, rushed down the stairs and outside, then continued the sequence a bunch of times before returning to her room and slamming the door.

I went upstairs to my bedroom around 11 pm and crawled into bed. Around 12:15 am, I woke up to the sound of Lorraine’s hair dryer, so I texted her with, “Hey, I’m trying to sleep. Would you mind not blow drying your hair so late? Thanks.” I immediately got a nasty response from her in which she stated that she had the right to do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, that I had no right to just text her, and that if I had a problem with something, that I should speak to her in person. I told her that since it was so late, and I was IN BED, that speaking to her in person didn’t seem feasible.

Lorraine didn’t speak a word to me for 5 weeks. Then one day, she texted me, saying that she wanted to check in with me to see what I wanted her to do with catsitting (I had a 14 day trip to Japan approaching), and that she was delighted to do whatever I needed her to do. By this time I was so terrified of her and so accustomed to walking on eggshells whenever she was around that I didn’t even know how to proceed. I haltingly agreed to let her catsit, and never addressed her outburst from 5 weeks prior.

Finally, after over a year and a half of living with this woman, she submitted her 30 day notice of vacancy. The weekend that she entered the house to remove her belongings, she became hostile towards me and even threatened to punch me at one point. I was already at the point where I was totally willing to call the cops, and I told her so, which convinced her to rethink the idea of assaulting her roommate. She made such a mess on the walls of her bedroom that I had to have the entire room repainted, an expense which was covered by a portion of her security deposit.

I truly hope that I never have any more awful roommates, because I have paid my dues by enduring unacceptable living situations with some pretty messed up people!

Bad Roommates – Richard

Copyright: tinnakornlek

Part 2 of my blog series on horrible roommates continues today with Richard, who moved in with a 3 pound teacup Chihuahua named Lola and a 20 pound Chihuaha mix named Poopers. Richard was very forthright in telling me that he had previously dealt with a crystal meth addiction, but was fully recovered. To set my mind at ease, he gave me his father’s phone number and told me that if any issue ever arose with him, I could call his father and he would set everything straight. Richard then moved in, and told me that I would never have to worry about his dogs because he crated them at night in his room, and was completely responsible for their feeding, walks, and bathing. There were no issues with Richard for the first few months, and he was proud of himself because he had been able to continue his employment as a dog groomer, a job which he enjoyed immensely.

Then one Sunday morning, I was awakened at 4 am by the sound of Lola yelping and crying in Richard’s room. I walked across the hall to Richard’s room and knocked on the door, calling out for him. When there was no response, I opened the door to find the dogs in their respective crates, with food and water bowls on the opposite side of the room. The crate doors were closed and latched. I suddenly realized that I hadn’t seen Richard since Friday afternoon, and became very concerned that these poor pooches were trapped in their crates since then. I immediately took them out of their crates, put kibble in their food bowl, and filled their water bowl with water. Once they had something to eat and drink, I took them outside so that they could go to the bathroom and run around a bit. I ended up letting the dogs roam around the house, and spoke with my other roommate Paul later in the morning about splitting dog walking duties with him, to which he heartily agreed.

I dialed Richard’s dad’s number around noon that Sunday, and a young man answered. When I asked if Richard’s dad was there, I was informed that he was not there. I then asked if Richard happened to be there, and was told that he wasn’t there either, but my gut told me that he probably was there. So I told the guy who answered the call to inform his buddy Richard that he was in big trouble, and that because he had locked his dogs in crates for an extended period of time, I would be contacting animal rights organizations to report Richard.

Richard showed up two days later, but wouldn’t look me in the eye, and he looked like he had been tweaking. He apologized for the dogs, said he would take better care of them, and then left. This is when Richard began to exhibit some very bizarre behavior. He would sneak into the house very late at night, grab clothes or whatever else he needed, and then quickly leave without taking care of his dogs. Since I didn’t trust Richard, Paul and I continued to feed and walk the dogs, and we would crate them at night. Then after about two weeks of this pattern, Richard let the dogs out of the crates one night and then left. The next morning, the dogs had managed to urinate and defecate all over his bed, the carpeted floor, and a stack of his dirty clothing. It was like they lashed out at him by peeing and pooping everywhere. The situation was so bad that the smell of dog urine and feces had soaked into the floorboards, and even after I replaced the carpeting in that room, the faint odor of dog waste persisted.

The day after the dogs had their grand excretory event, I contacted an attorney and had an eviction letter drawn up which I put on Richard’s bedroom door and also sent to his dad. I also called him and left him a message letting him know I was looking into having the dogs rehomed immediately. It took several days for Richard to clear out his belongings, but he managed to empty the room, and he also unfortunately took the dogs with him. His security deposit was spent on replacement carpeting for the room.

I can only imagine what happened to Richard, but I assume that he fell completely back into his meth addiction.

Bad Roommates – Sean

Copyright: nuiiko

Over the past 36 years, I have had a lot of roommates, some of whom were pretty cool, one who was awesome and became one of my dearest friends, and a handful who were such rotten people that it took me a while to recover from the craziness they brought into my home. The list of bad roommates is actually larger than I would like for it to be, but I figured I would select the three most despicable ones to discuss in this blog post. The ONLY reason why I have changed the names of these individuals in my stories is because one is certifiably nuts (borderline and histrionic personality disorder…no, I didn’t live with Amber Heard!), and the other two are addicts who can’t be trusted in any way, shape or form.

The first selection on my list of worst roommates ever was Sean, a very cocky Korean guy who assured me when he interviewed for the available room that he was a successful businessman with a number of businesses, one of which was the local Fosters Freeze. He stated that he needed to use my desktop computer in the den because his was at one of his offices and he was unable to access it on a regular basis. I agreed to let him use my computer, but I password protected all of my financial documents and other sensitive information.

In the mornings, Sean would come downstairs to the kitchen wearing a full business suit, and he would tell me about how busy the day ahead would be for him. Then I would leave for work, returning in the early evening to see Sean sitting on the sofa watching TV. The first hint that Sean was shady was when he asked me to please put his work van on my automobile insurance policy. He told me that the insurance rate was very high, and that by adding his vehicle onto my policy, the rates would drop for both our vehicles. He also promised to pay the entire premium. I firmly refused, even though he kept pleading with me to add his van, and he even insulted me, telling me that I was passing up an “excellent deal”.

During the time Sean was living in my house, we had a housekeeper who would clean every two weeks. One day, when she was finishing up her cleaning, she pulled me aside and said, “Miss Stacey, there’s something strange about Sean. When you are leaving for work, he is in a full business suit, but after you leave, he goes to his room, changes into a t-shirt and shorts, then goes down to the den and plays poker on your computer. He is still there when I am ready to leave. I just thought you should know.” My suspicions were ignited by this information, and I became very uncomfortable around him.

Ultimately, Sean just completely disappeared one day, and I couldn’t get in touch with him. So I ended up going to the Fosters Freeze since he had mentioned that he owned that business. I drove up and saw a Korean woman in the order window, so I figured she was Sean’s sister. I approached her and introduced myself, and then asked if she knew where Sean was, since I hadn’t seen him in close to a week. Her response was, “You’ve seen Sean? Come to the back entrance. We need to talk.”

Once I was at the back entrance, Sean’s sister proceeded to tell me that he was a gambling addict and had gotten into big trouble with a number of individuals who were after him for lost bets he never paid up on. She also told me that Sean had emptied out their parents’ savings accounts in a desperate effort to obtain more money, and what made that part of the story even worse was that she told me their father had cancer and was now unable to pay for chemotherapy treatments due to Sean’s theft. She told me to go into his room and just sell whatever might be of value, because she said he would never come back to the house. When I returned home, I went up to Sean’s room, where I found several pairs of crew socks and his bed. He had taken all of his Armani suits and other valuables and bolted.

Next week I will talk about another horrible roommate I had. It’s definitely been an adventure having roommates!

One Of My Worst Dating Experiences

Copyright: belchonock

If you’ve been in the dating world for any span of time, I am willing to bet that you have at least one story about a bad dating experience. There have been a few doozies in my dating life, but one in particular was particularly aggravating. I’ve gotten so many laughs from relaying the story about Max that I figured my subscribers would also get a chuckle out of it.

I met Max (and yes, that was his real name) at a Halloween party in 2009 at the Skirball Center on Sepulveda Blvd. While I was at the party, a very nondescript man who was not at all my type approached me, began talking to me, and followed me around. You guessed it, this was Max. He refused to leave my side, cockblocked a number of men who were my type, and just annoyed me to no end. When I decided to leave the party, he hounded me for my phone number, and for some utterly stupid reason, I gave it to him.

Max called me the next day, asking if I was free, to which I replied that I was watching Sunday NFL Football with my roommates. Without hesitation, Max invited himself over, and because I was so distracted by the activity in the house, I relented and gave him my address. When Max showed up at my place, he was empty handed, and promptly asked if we had beer or some other libation he could enjoy. I opened up a bottle of sake and poured two glasses. About 30 minutes after Max showed up, my two roommates stated that they were planning to put some burgers and chicken on the grill, and invited Max and me to join them in consuming the food. Once the food was cooked, the four of us sat in front of the TV, eating, drinking, and watching the game. A big smile broke on Max’s face, and he said, “Wow, this is awesome! I’m getting free food, free booze, and I’m watching football!” which made me cringe and also triggered concerned expressions on both my roommates’ faces.

Once the afternoon game was over, I told Max I had an early day the next day, and thanked him for coming over. Max stated that he would make it up to me the following week by taking me to dinner, to which I reluctantly agreed. Two days later, Max called me and we made plans to meet at a restaurant called Firefly in Studio City that Friday. For those of you who don’t know the restaurant, here is a portion of the current (2022) dinner menu:

Fried heritage chicken with mashed potatoes & gravy, horseradish slaw
and a damn fine buttermilk biscuit (or just as fine GF cornbread for the intolerant)   29 

Potato kugel with king trumpet mushrooms, roasted carrots, tofu creamed spinach and truffled demi   28
Red chile braised pork with crinkly sweet potatoes, collard greens, crispy mushrooms and pepita–cilantro salsa   30

 Zucchini, corn and poblano enchiladas verdes with black beans, romaine, pickled red onions and cashew crema   27

 Moqueca Baiana of rockfish, mussels and scallops with watercress–watermelon radish salad and jasmine rice   31

 Dijon crusted ocean trout filet with seared asparagus, quinoa–pine nut pilaf and sauce gribiche   33

 Baked mac ‘n cheese with cheddar, gruyere and parmesan bread crumbs   12

On Friday, Max and I met at the restaurant and were seated at a lovely al fresco table. The waiter brought menus and took our drink orders, which consisted of two similar mixed drinks on the rocks. Max perused the menu for several minutes, then looked over at me with a dissatisfied facial gesture. I asked him what was wrong, to which he replied, “I just don’t see anything that is grabbing me, ya know? I think I want to see if they can make a burger for me.” Since I wanted to be a good sport, I told him that if the chef was willing to accommodate his request, I would also have a burger. Well, Max got his wish, and we ordered burgers. We also ordered a second round of drinks.

The burgers were delicious, and our conversation flowed better than I thought it would, but since I felt no romantic spark with Max, I just wanted to get through the date without any awkwardness. Then the waiter placed the bill on the table while Max and I were talking about something that made us both laugh. While still laughing, Max picked up the bill, glanced at it, scowled, threw the bill onto the table, and remarked, “Oh, I can’t pay this!” I picked up the bill and saw that the total was $75, and because I wanted to be accommodating, I suggested that we split the bill, to which he agreed.

Two minutes later, Max scowled (this time at me), said “Wait a minute!”, and grabbed the bill. He studied it for a minute, then remarked, “The drink you ordered is $1 more than mine, and you had two of them, which means you owe $2 more than me.” I just sat there, dumbfounded. Was this guy really that cheap? I was so disgusted and so intent on getting out of that restaurant that I told him, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll pay the whole thing.” I proceeded to pay the entire bill plus tip, because Max didn’t even offer to leave the tip.

When we walked to the valet area to pick up our cars, Max said, “I’ll pay your valet fee if you let me come over” to which I replied, “No thank you, keep your $5.” Needless to say, there was no third date with Max, but he continued to call me, begging me to take him with me to Preview Night at the L.A. Auto Show. I had purchased two tickets (at $100 a pop), and mistakenly mentioned that I was going to the event and was waiting to hear back from a friend who said he wanted to join me. Max truly believed that I would have been willing to take him, on MY dime, to the event. I asked him to please stop calling me, and when he refused to leave me alone, I blocked his number.

I’d love to hear about your nightmare dating stories, so please share in the comments!

Saving Money While Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Image via Pexels

Karen Weeks does it again with another excellent article, this time tackling the subject of saving money while staying on track with healthy foods. Please be sure to check her out at Elderwellness.net

It’s important to think about how we can manage our spending and save money on healthy food and lifestyle as well. There are many ways we can cut down on the cost of eating healthy, from switching to a more affordable brand of canned food to making more nutritious meals at home.

Eat at Home

There’s no question that eating at home is a more affordable option than eating out. The convenience of being able to prepare and store a large portion of your food at home is one big benefit. 

You’re also likely to find a cheaper price on ingredients. You’ll also have more control over what you’re eating. Not only can you choose exactly what you want to eat, but you can also control portion sizes and food quality. 

Make Meal Prep a Priority

Many people think of meal planning as a way to save money. It is, but it’s also a lifestyle change that helps you save money on healthy food and lifestyle. Meal planning is a great way to cut down on the cost of healthy food

Plan Meals in Advance

Planning your meals in advance is a great way to reduce the cost of healthy food. It allows you to make certain meals at a certain time of the week that cost less. Planning in advance also helps you create healthy habits by making healthy eating a routine

Enjoy Lower Health Insurance Premiums

Health insurance premiums have risen significantly over the last decade. As people become more aware of the value of a healthy lifestyle, they are looking for ways to improve their health and lower their premiums

Healthy lifestyle habits, including eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity, can make a huge difference in your health. By leading a healthy lifestyle, you can help reduce your chances of developing health conditions, such as heart disease and cancer.

Take Advantage of Employee Wellness Programs

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you lower your healthcare costs and take advantage of employee wellness programs. Some companies offer wellness programs that encourage employees to adopt healthy habits, such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. 

How to Monetize Your Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you lower your healthcare costs and take advantage of employee wellness programs. In addition to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, you can also monetize your healthy lifestyle. 

Start a Health Blog

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you monetize your healthy lifestyle. Many people are interested in healthy lifestyle blogs. This is especially true of younger people who are looking for ways to improve their health. 

If you have decided to start a health blog, you can monetize it quickly and easily. All you have to do is create a free WordPress website, add a blog feed, and start blogging. You can also monetize your health blog with an affiliate program. 

Open a Store Selling Sports Gear

Healthy lifestyle habits can help you monetize your healthy lifestyle and take advantage of employee wellness programs. If you are interested in starting a business that sells sports gear, healthy lifestyle habits can help you monetize your healthy lifestyle and make a profit.

In starting your own business, be sure to use a logo maker to create an attractive and attention-grabbing branded logo for your products. Creating an eye-catching logo for your brand is simple if you take advantage of a free logo design tool. The right tool offers great templates that you can then customize to make sure it beautifully represents your brand.

Are White Foods Making You Sick?

Copyright: colorcocktail

If you have any tendency to hit the bread basket at dinner, or you have a penchant for plates of regular pasta or sweet treats like cookies, you are consuming white foods which can have a deleterious impact on your health. Some white foods are actually quite healthy for the most part, such as eggs, cauliflower, onions and turnips. However, white foods which are highly processed and refined wreak havoc on our bodies, and should be eliminated from our diets. Not only do they adversely affect digestion, they cause spikes in blood sugar, diminish the collagen and elastin in our skin, and lead to heart and kidney disease.

Not sure what constitutes the white foods I am referring to? Here’s a list:

Enriched White Flour
White Rice
White Pasta
White Bread
Crackers
Table Sugar
Refined Salt

One of the reasons why the flour which is used in processed foods is usually enriched is because fiber, vitamins and minerals are stripped during the refining process of the grain. In addition, processed grains and table sugar are absorbed very rapidly, causing a sharp increase in insulin release with a corresponding crash, resulting in hunger pangs and cravings, not to mention adversely affecting one’s health over the course of time. In case you didn’t know, the average carbonated soda has 10 to 12 teaspoons of table sugar. According to the American Heart Association, an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar is consumed daily by the average American. Sugar in any form provides very few nutrients, and that is why it is described as providing “empty” calories.

Another white food which could be added to the do-not-eat list is dairy. The dairy industry often uses hormones and antibiotics in raising the cows, which then can cause weight gain, hormonal imbalance, inflammation, allergies and digestive issues in humans. I have seen a fair number of patients who dealt with chronic pain and inflammation which abated once they eliminated dairy products from their diets.

I honestly believe that everyone should examine all foods which are currently in the pantry or elsewhere in the kitchen, disposing of any processed foods. Once this purge is completed, it is critical to read nutrition labels when shopping at the grocery store and to avoid purchasing foods which have ingredients on the above list. I discovered that I have a severe intolerance to barley and I also have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Because of this, I have cut gluten out of my diet, which means that I avoid bread, crackers, and pasta which are made with wheat flour or any other glutinous grain. However, this doesn’t mean that gluten free bread products are the answer either, especially because they are also processed foods. I only consume gluten free pastas, breads or cookies a few times per year, and I truly have cravings for healthy foods. For example, when I want a crunchy snack, I opt for a bowl of raw veggies like radishes (my favorite), cucumber, and fresh raw mushrooms, while others might reach for a bag of potato chips. My palate is so conditioned to like clean foods that I actually crave things like radishes, arugula, and lean cuts of turkey and seafood.

If you stick to fresh vegetables, lean meat, and incorporate healthy fats like avocado into your regimen, the fresh flavors will hopefully break you out of your refined food habits and lead you to healthy eating habits.

Why Burmese Cats Are The Best

Taiko, a Platinum American Burmese Male – My first Burmese love…

Since 1986, I have had fourteen different cats, and cannot imagine life without felines in my household. Seven of the cats I had have been of mixed breed, while the other seven were purebred. Of those pure breeds, I have had a Blue Point Birman (Natasha, 1991-2000), a Snow Bengal (Abbey, 2002-2005), a Scottish Fold (Sophie, 2000-2010), one European Burmese (Kazu, born in 2009 and part of my current brood), and three American Burmese (Taiko 2001-2009, Tenshi, born in 2008, Koji, born in 2021). From the moment I brought Taiko, a platinum male, home, I actually enjoyed how intensely social and needy Taiko was, and I completely fell in love with his doglike personality, which I quickly learned was characteristic of Burmese cats. It was enough to solidify my preference for Burmese cats, and now I insist on always having Burmese cats in my life.

Tenshi, my Blue American Burmese Male

Burmese cats truly are extremely friendly, need to be around their humans the majority of the time, and are so drawn to laps that they are referred to as “lap Velcro”. Having lived with Burmese since 2001, I can definitely vouch for the fact that these felines are attention whores, which is quite the opposite of what some cat haters think about cat temperament. My cats are social, playful, gentle, and intelligent, and they often want to cuddle, sometimes when I am trying to do housework or telemedicine! I’m also accustomed to having all my cats on my bed at some point during every night, and I will usually wake up with Kazu right next to me. These cats have tons of personality!

Kazu, my Cream European Burmese Female

There are some minor physical differences between American Burms and European Burms, such as head shape (American Burms have more rounded skulls, while European Burms have a slight wedge shape), and there are colors which are unique to E Burms (such as Cream, which is what my Kazu is), but both Burmese versions are very similar and also feature the same loveable personality profile. It is much more difficult to find European Burmese breeders in the United States, so if you have your heart set on an E Burm, you will probably have to travel out of state to find one.

Koji, my Sable American Burmese Male

The following are breed descriptions from CFA.org and TICA.org respectively. The CFA recognizes the American Burmese, while TICA recognizes the European Burmese.

AMERICAN BURMESE BREED DESCRIPTON:

The Burmese breed first came to America in 1930 when Dr. Joseph Thompson of San Francisco brought a small walnut brown female cat from Burma. He named her Wong Mau and bred her to Siamese cats. Through selective breeding the unique solid brown colored coat, now known as Sable, was isolated. This work demonstrated that these Burmese cats were a distinct breed and ultimately led the breeders to request championship recognition from the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). Along the way, the other colors seen in the Siamese breed were also seen in litters. Over time and with much controversy, these other colors were accepted by CFA. The four colors we now recognize in CFA are Sable, a rich dark brown; Champagne, a warm beige; Platinum, a pale gray with fawn undertones; and Blue, a medium gray with fawn undertones.

Burmese cats carry surprising weight for their size. Their coats are short and close-lying, and they have a very silky texture. They need very little grooming, usually requiring only some daily petting. You will see a range of styles of Burmese cats, with those with rounder heads and shorter bodies being the show cats. Their large, expressive eyes radiate an innocence that will seduce you, and they have an irresistible appeal that has won over many a person who thought he didn’t like cats. Burmese cats have an endearing quality that has won the hearts of those lucky enough to be owned by one. They have great affection for their people, wanting to be with them as much as possible without being overly demanding. Many Burmese will even play fetch with a toy, given the chance.

Burmese kittens can be quite spirited. They are playful and fearless, attempting feats beyond their means and landing on their sturdy little rear ends. A Burmese kitten will remain playful well into adulthood. As they mature, their unique intelligence will reveal itself as their personalities unfold. They will soon grow into confident and charming little executives who will rule the house and your heart. Burmese are soft-spoken beings who have little trouble making their wishes known. They adore their people and are known for being good with children as well as liking (or at least tolerating) the family dog. Burmese are extremely people-oriented companions. Their personalities are almost dog-like. They will follow you from room to room, and they greatly desire to give and receive affection. They seek out warm laps and gentle strokes of your hand, and they love to snuggle up with their owners when they are reading or watching TV. Come bedtime they look forward to sleeping in or on your bed if allowed. Burmese are convinced that it is their job to run the house. Females tend to demand center stage and take an active role in managing the household. Males on the other hand tend to be more relaxed, managing from a comfortable spot on your lap. Be forewarned – Burmese cats can be addictive! It is not uncommon for someone to acquire a Burmese and find one is not enough. Many people ultimately have two or more Burmese, one of each gender or of different colors. Being one of the most trusting cat breeds, Burmese should never be allowed outside.  https://cfa.org/burmese/

EUROPEAN BURMESE BREED DESCRIPTION:

Burmese can be found in a range of solid and tortoiseshell colors: rich, dark sable brown; medium, warm blue; warm, honey beige chocolate with pink or fawn tints; lilac that ranges in tone from a bright pinkish grey to a silvery platinum with pink tints; reds of a light, golden apricot with melon-orange overtones; rich, warm deep creams with hints of apricot; and the soft mingling of red or cream with sable, chocolate, blue or lilac found in the tortoiseshells. In young cats, the points will be darker but as the cat gets older and the coat matures the body color becomes deeper and richer until there is only a very slight difference between its body and the color on the legs, head and tail. On Mar 29 1955, the first blue Burmese kitten, Sealcoat Blue Surprise, was born in England. Cats other than sable had appeared earlier, but most Burmese breeders chose to breed only the sable cats. It is now believed that Wong Mau also carried the genes for dilution and chocolate that resulted in the appearance of chocolate, blue and lilac kittens. The red factor was added later in Europe. The Burmese was one of the original breeds TICA recognized in June 1979.

Remove Your Shoes Please!

Copyright: andsst

I grew up in a shoes-off household, which meant that as soon as anyone stepped into my home, they had to remove their shoes and leave them at the front door. Throughout my childhood, I noticed that none of my friends removed their shoes while in their homes, but then again, none of whom were Asian. In stark contrast, I noticed that the habit of removing shoes, sandals, and boots was always followed by my mom’s Asian friends, as well as by my relatives (also Asian) in Hawaii. I soon noticed that the floors in my friends’ homes didn’t feel nearly as clean on my bare feet as the ones in my own apartment, since they didn’t practice the same ritual my Japanese-American mother and I did. What I ended up doing in my friends’ homes was either keep my shoes on, or I would keep my socks on if I was wearing any when I visited them. To be honest, I always felt that it was so much cleaner to be in the habit of removing shoes once entering a residence, and this is something I continue to practice to this day. Since I am also the person who usually cleans the floors, rugs and carpets in my house, I have become a stickler for ensuring that no one enters in shoes which have traversed sidewalks, driveways, lawns which are teeming with all kinds of nasty gunk.

These days, I even go so far as to ask service technicians who enter my home to either remove their work boots, or to wear shoe covers, if they intend to conduct work inside the house. Before you accuse me of being extreme in my desire to keep my abode clean, keep in mind that back in July of 2021, a central air service technician tracked so much dirt and oil into my bedroom that it took me two sessions to remove all the stains from my bedroom carpet. Shortly after that, I ordered disposable shoe covers and have them right at the foyer for convenience.

Copyright: Elenathewise

Even with the shoes-off policy in my home, I still notice dust and dirt on my floors, and since I have pets, there is also the issue of shedding hair which accumulates. The last thing I want is to worry about when I clean the floors every week is chemicals, dog feces, and various microbes being introduced to my house via outdoor footwear. A study conducted by the University of Arizona discovered that 96% of soles of shoes were found to harbor fecal matter, which is picked up from the floors of public restrooms, as well as bird droppings and dog feces from asphalt, concrete, grass and soil. When you wear your shoes inside your house, you are spreading all of that bacteria, most notably E. coli, over all of your floors. Not only do you have to worry about germs, you also need to be aware of how many chemicals we track into our homes with our shoes, from gasoline which we pick up while pumping gas at a gas station, to carcinogenic chemicals which are used on lawns, and the list goes on.

Why not improve your indoor environment with a simple step and implement a no-shoes policy when you are inside your house? You’ll be rewarded with a cleaner home and will decrease your exposure to potentially harmful substances.

Establishing A Car Fund

Copyright: myndziakvideo

Since getting a car, whether new or used, is a major purchase, it makes sense to anticipate the financial outlay well in advance by setting funds aside. If you have a plan of attack, you can either put away enough money for a down payment on a vehicle, or even amass enough cash to purchase a car outright with no financing. I was so determined to pay cash for my next set of wheels that when I purchased my current car in April of 2017 after the 24-month lease ended, I began saving up for the next car by earmarking contributions in a specially designated car fund. I now have enough set aside to purchase a moderately priced new or gently used vehicle when the time comes. Granted, I was extremely aggressive and determined when I began saving up, but I now know that it is indeed possible to self-finance a car purchase.

Copyright: 3rus

Even if you can’t save up enough money for a cash purchase, a chunk of change could nicely cover a down payment, thus lowering the total amount which ends up being financed. I ended up intuitively setting up a high yield savings account and have been making monthly investments for the past five years, a technique which is actually recommended by financial experts. The other thing I kept in mind when figuring out how much to set aside each month was the value of the vehicle which I would most likely purchase in the future. When I got any additional small windfalls, I would add those monies to the fund. Lastly, another thing which I made sure to do was to set up a car repairs fund in high yield savings so that I would be prepared if I ran into any unexpected repair bills on my current ride.

For more detailed information on whether to buy new or used, or to buy versus lease (though I NEVER advise anyone to lease a vehicle), you can check out this article:

https://www.investopedia.com/how-to-save-for-a-car-5184740

Financial Wellness

Copyright: tzido

*Note: This is an updated version of an article which I had posted back in September of 2020, entitled Do Your Finances Need A Tune-Up?

Now that restrictions are lifting after the COVID pandemic and lockdown from 2020, we are now in an especially critical situation due to the financial beating and recession which has negatively impacted the majority of the population. Whether you are someone who already had emergency funds and retirement savings in place before the pandemic hit, or you are hoping to finally start setting aside those funds for the future, it is important for you to review your financial health on a regular basis and to find ways to protect yourself so that you are prepared for any potential financial emergency. What if you don’t know where to start? The most important principles to follow in the quest for financial health include paying down debt, establishing an emergency fund, finding other means to generate income, and continuing to contribute to retirement accounts.  Another vital component in good financial health is establishing a budget and really examining your spending habits.  Almost invariably, people find out after they create a budget that they are spending money needlessly on frills that they don’t need.  By eliminating those hidden money drains, it becomes easier to cover living expenses, thus reducing some of the stress involved in getting by financially.

I have had a budget in place for over 30 years, and I have seen the power it wields.  By following a budget, I was able to pay down all credit card debt, pay off a car, establish an emergency fund, and put money aside for retirement, so I know it can all be done.  I have lived without credit card debt or a car note for almost a decade now, and I will never fall back into the debt trap ever again. I am also acutely aware of my budget at all times, and I review it on an almost weekly basis to make sure I am on track. The emergency financial cushions which I have established give me peace of mind, because I have successfully created and maintained my own safety nets. By no means am I wealthy, but I know that I am not in any precarious financial waters either.

Source: pigly.com

If you need help in establishing a budget, you can use a budget calculator. I found a wonderful budget calculator on Pigly.com which is very easy to use, and extremely thorough.  It helps you break down all expenses, from the essentials to debts and savings so you can target all your goals and ensure that your income is allocated optimally. All you have to do is plug in your income, and the calculator will automatically generate a low end and high end for all the categories.  So even if you have never established a budget before, you can set one up instantly.

When budgeting, don’t be afraid to contribute to your retirement accounts right now, as long as you have your debts paid down and you have an emergency fund in place.  I am a big proponent of Dave Ramsey’s investing philosophy, and I am grateful that I educated myself on financial wellness and dug myself out of what once seemed like a desperate situation.  It was only after I had paid off all of my credit cards and established an emergency fund back in 2013 that I began aggressively started putting money aside for retirement.

Source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 129764462
Copyright : Romolo Tavani

The fact is, we are living in uncertain times, and need to be prepared for whatever hits.  By buttressing our financial health, getting creative with income streams, and following a budget, we will be better equipped to survive the ebb and flow of the current economy.