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For the record I am a terrible gardener. Both literally and metaphorically speaking.

Kristle has always been the one with the green thumb. I don’t think I have the patience and dedication to nurture something that I will eventually view as lunch.

Cultivating the land…………..ugh that would hurt my back.
Planting the seeds…………..why dig a hole that you are just going to bury
Watering the sown land…….you are watering dirt! Doesn’t anyone realize how silly that looks.
Caring for the sprouts………I refuse to sing to something that can’t clap for me afterwards.
Enjoying the results…………Yummy SALAD on a beautiful lush green lawn. That shiz be good with ranch!

Even still, I can see the reasons for it.
You get something very tangible to enjoy out of a lot of hard work, dedication and patience. But as I see Kristle toil in the soil. I can tell she gets so much more out of it. Something less tangible and more rewarding. I can see how she enjoyed the journey, fought hard when things turned the wrong color and stuck it out till the end anyway knowing that there is more to it than the final results.

This being the literal viewpoint, admittedly my garden would be hard pressed to grow weeds.
Oddly enough, my metaphoric garden has seen it’s bits of non flourished rough patches.

Everyone, I am sure, has heard the idiom, “The Grass is not always greener on the other side.”.
A very dear ideology I have kept with me to remind myself that running away would not be the answer to any of my problems. One that I have adhered to for most of my life.

That was until I moved to Colorado in attempts to run away from my problems.

(That’s right!!!! It is time for a flash back!!!!!)

At the time I was dealing in a High Limit room enjoying all what life had to offer. I had a great schedule, I felt appreciated at work and enjoyed what I did for a living. Things at home were amazing as well. Kristle and I had purchased a beautiful home that both her and I were very proud of. (Seriously, the house is awesome!) And we had welcomed our third bundle of joy into our lives making us a family of five.

I was hard pressed to hold any malice towards any given day. Our “grass” was beautiful.

That was until things began to change at work. Nothing that could really be controlled by anyone one above my position. However, the action was starting to become sparse and the amount I earned began to fluctuate dramatically. As a career blackjack dealer, our earned income primarily consists of tipped wages. Comparatively speaking our hourly wages are a muse for the most part. So for us to maintain an income, we need patrons to visit.

Much like a domino effect, home life began to feel the strain of the wildly changing income. It never got to the point of us doing without food or shelter. Yet, the happiness started to slip away. We had to tighten our belts (not because we were starving) and start making every dollar count.
In addition to ongoing family problems between other family members. Kristle and I had decided we need to start looking for solutions.

At the point where our issues were seemingly at a head. The wind had brought word of vast fortunes to be had in the land to the north. The gaming industry in Colorado was growing up and was beckoning for experienced dealers. Though at first the thought of leaving our home seemed enough to stop any further consideration. Every proceeding paycheck and continued flares with family was a distroutfilled reminder of our “wilting garden”.

So with an ass load of reluctance. I went against the very ideas I stood for and we ran away.

Our story of getting to Colorado was traumatic in it’s own right. (<— Link to previous Blog). But, even after we were established. This land of opportunity wasn’t exactly working out like we thought it would.

I was quickly reminded of the wisdom I had overlooked in the “never back down or run away” mantra I had ignored.

To be nice, the industry was unique and I was hard pressed to conform. The money was consistent but no where close to what was promised during the interview processes. I was resentful at the fact that things seemed to go from one disappointment to another. Nothing was comforting about our new location and bitterness was oozing out of every one of my orpheus'. (eww).

I went from an established patch of grass with a few sprouting weeds to a fresh plot of barren dirt. Our garden back home may have been on life support but it was at least familiar and comforting.

My tantrums continued for about a year and a half all to no avail. It finally dawned on me that the grass can’t be greener if you don’t put in the hard work to make it so. Taking a small recount for my actions prior, I became embarrassed by how I acted. I resolved to make an effort of sorts and started to branch out more.

I made some friends and started being active again by running and training for a 5k. I joined an adult co-ed kickball team, even getting nominated as the teams female VIP. I also started going out more with people when I was invited and started inviting others to share random good times with.

Kristle and I even took this chance of solitude from family to reconnect with one another (that story saved for a future blog).

Even with all that, it wasn’t the same as when things were back home. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the friends I made and even started enjoying my day to day again. Except, all I could do is compare everything to things back home in Albuquerque. Nothing seemed to satisfy my desires (except Kristle, cause she’s hot!) and the thoughts of home reeked of that familiar feeling of “things would be much better if I was somewhere that I am currently not”.

Though we knew that our stay in Colorado was not to be permanent. My lust for going home became my new talking point amongst my new circle of friends(for that I apologize everyone). But after three long years our experiment was over and we made our way back home to Albuquerque.

(End Flash Back….wooooooooooooshhhhhhhhhh, time machine noise)

It has been six months since I have been back home. I have a maintained my dealing career by establishing myself at another casino. We are once again settled in our amazing home and Kristle and I are still madly in love.. Am I happier to be back…yes very much so.

However…

My old friends have moved on with new relationships and different jobs. The time we once used to hang out with one another has gone to other efforts. Even though my family has been my biggest constant since my return. All our hobbies and habits have now turned into something bigger. My sister is now a professional boxer, my brother is now a local recording artist and along with all my projects (#projectCJ) we are all focused on all our own pursuits. Needless to say, we are all busy to the point of not being able have random get togethers like years past. Everything has to be planned and scheduled. Yuck, we are such adults!

I have this slight feeling of deja vu. This disappointing sense of again working with a fresh plot of dirt instead of rolling around in familiar grass. Apparently, just as the time had passed for me in Colorado, the same was true for everything I knew back home. Though I returned with a warm welcome from all my family and friends. So many things had changed with-in their lives that the “warm fuzzy in your pants” feeling of home I had yearned for was not exactly there. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to express disdain for my life post Colorado. I guess I was expecting something more grandiose.

This recurring ill perceived notion of “greatness comes with drastic change” has helped me to take a second look at what I actually had going for me in Colorado. I realize now that I actually had some green grass growing in what was my plot of dirt. It was lush, wonderful and it was worth all the effort I had put into it

I regret not figuring this out while I was out there. I can only look back and think about all the opportunities I missed out on because I was convincing myself otherwise. Was it the same as back home, no, not by a long shot. But now I understand it wasn’t anything less to value. I feel that a slight update for an old idiom is in order. I hope that some of my readers take this into account…

The grass isn’t always more vivid on the other side. It is simply just a different shade of green.

~~Cute Janessa~~ @cutejanessa

Thanks for reading everyone! I love all the support in the reads, comments and shares!!! Now I have a question for all of you. In the comments below, tell me about the great things in your life you may be overlooking. Or about attempts to run away from it all and if it worked out or not.

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As adults we pride ourselves on our ability to be inDEPENDent. And those of us who have young kids can easily witness the desire for one’s inDEPENDence. But have you ever stopped to evaluate all what you DEPEND on during the course of your day. How much of it is a bonafide DEPENDency and how much of it could you do without if it was gone tomorrow. Pose this question to any individual cognitive on the matter and as sure as shit smells like poo they will say, “well, it DEPENDs…”.  (study conducted using a “pew” poll) :p

I tend to find it arrogant how individuals assume a stance of total self reliance. For some reason, we have developed an ideology that we throw out the humility and make attempts to prove we can do everything ourselves?

Scientific studies in evolution show that we adapt certain behavioral traits as means to better a species development, increase survival rates or to conform to the ebs of the creatures surroundings.

But why though, what are we actually proving and what benefit are we gaining from this facade?

Maybe if we act as though we can do it all ourselves. We are able to trick our minds into achieving the impossible. But isn’t that what the credit lenders have been doing to us as a societal whole? Creating the illusion of wealth with extended credit. To say it nicely, that shiz has worked out just as well as this man’s promotion of Mr. Mitt’s  campaign.

Have we simply created the illusion of a life, where we can callously go about our day without acknowledging the fact that we depend on so many people and mundane luxuries to make it palatable?

As for myself, I believe I have come to confront this concept in action once or twice. Not to mention, the negative side-effects of not acknowledging the respect that these ideals deserve.

(Flashback sequence) (Special Effects) (Noises)

About three years ago, my lovely leading lady Kristle and I decided that we should try a new approach in the ways of earning a living. That approach involved a move from our humble home in Albuquerque to the unknown, rural, savage land of Denver.

We had done everything to try and prepare for our departure. Along with our eventual return back home. Those plans included; securing a job for myself, seeking residence in our new local. As well as finding suitable tenants for our home in Albuquerque. We loved our house so much that we wanted to make sure we had someplace special to come back to.

Everything went as planned except for one major thing. We were not able to find a renter in time for our departure. At the time, Kristle’s source of income was an in-home daycare business. If she had decided to move to Denver with me, we would be lacking her contribution to the finances. As well as still paying for our tenantless home back in the Duke City. We had come to terms with her not having a job in Denver. But not with the additional burden of a mortgage.

Arrogant that we would be able to handle things better going our separate ways. I made my way to Denver, leaving Kristle in Albuquerque to maintain her business. This was to be until we resolved the issue of finding a reasonable suiter for our home.

My partner and I were separated from each other for the first time. Granted we have taken short trips away from one another before. But this length of time was at a magnitude greater than our foundation was registered to handle.

I never realized how much more I had to do to care for myself. To put it nicely, I enjoyed the likes of cereal more often than just breakfast time. There was more to it than that though. I found I was lost during the course of my day. An upheaval to my inner tranquility had taken place. The hugs, the kisses, the meals, the snuggling on the couches and all the things she silently did for me were now deafeningly absent.

We were all too confident that the house renting process would only take a few months at most. Those few months soon turned into six. Then those six months turned into a nightmare.

Kristle was the love of my life. We were two women that found each other as opposites. Yet, we managed to create a symbiotic life of love through the wake of cultural taboos. I kissed a girl and I liked-ed it.

However, despite our love, our social triumphs and all our plans It seemed that it wasn’t enough to stop what was becoming of our solidarity.

What happened during that time frame…
The separation shocked the very dynamics of our everyday lives. We began to learn how to go about our day to day without each other. Our DEPENDencies changed…we had lost a connection we had spent so many years creating with one another.

It took me awhile to figure all that out. We had survived so much as a couple in the past. It was such an eye opener to what a half’s year time apart could do.

Gratefully, I can report that our relationship survived and is thriving till this day. Kristle still is the love of my life and we once again have learned to DEPEND on one another for love and support. However, this whole ordeal changed our relationship.

…It changed me.

(and scene)(End Flash Back)(More Noise)

Admittedly, I often find myself settling into a groove when things become too familiar. So at times,  I am no exception to the list of those who negate the existence of all that we depend on.

But as with most of my epiphanies, they are usually inspired by life events being their cute little selves. By “cute” I mean “Life Changing Mother Fuckers”.

And the most adorable event just played itself out during all of last month. One which helped me revisit these very thoughts on DEPENDencies. Though the contents of the events would make for intriguing reading in it’s own right. I choose to limit specifics and create a veil of anonymity for the two beautiful little lives that were involved.

I will say this on the matter though. Kristle and I realized we would have done anything we could for those two. If it came to it, they would have been welcomed into our family with open arms and lots of love. Even though doing so would have changed our outlook on what we thought we DEPENDed on for a life of happiness and prosperity.

The marvel of this whole experience is the realization that children don’t have much to prove. They live very unadulterated lives when left to their own devices. Kids are not afraid to let it all hang out. Especially when it comes to the things they DEPEND on. They show it with their eyes, their hugs, their cries and their smiles.

It isn’t until an outside influence comes along and takes that bit of innocence away from them. Then they become like us adults, scared and too proud to admit that we all have DEPENDencies in one way or another.

I wish all what had transpired as of late consisted of a more favorable ending. We did what we could in the best way we knew how. And will forever be there if those kiddos need to DEPEND on us again.

Still, I am humbled by lessons revisited by another life event being “cute”.  With that being said, I plan on making efforts to express appreciations for dependencies fulfilled. Till I need to be reminded again at least.

Mind you, I don’t think I could handle converting into a self-reliant twig eating naturalist. The leafy green toiletries would not jive with my sensitive outlets.

~~Cute Janessa~~

Thanks for reading everyone! As always I enjoy the conversation about the topic at hand. In the comments below. Tell me about some of things you depend that you feel you couldn’t do without if it was gone tomorrow.

Amongst the household noise, the music, the I love You’s and the wonderful sound of children’s laughter. There is one other absolutely amazing thing heard so very often within the walls of my home…

“Argh, damn it Dela, you piece of shit dog! Quit peeing in my fucking house!”

Sentimental isn’t it.

Yes the joys of owning a pet for some are quite, well…joyful. And for the most part I share in those joys more often than not. Dela Mae is a beautiful Australian Shepherd mix, affectionate and very smart. Her energy is non-stop and possesses the characteristics of the breed I have always been so fond of. But ever since we decided to bring home our four pawed bundle of pee, I mean joy, we have dealt with countless chewed up possessions, fence jumps and uh umm…”accidents”.

-RANDOM TANGENT RANT (RTR)-
“Accidents”, really, who the heck named them that. This two year old (estimated) kennel adopted (cause I am a responsible hoe) dog (pee factory), knows what the heck she is doing (Angry Face). She has two pee spots that she enjoys using for the sole purpose of watering my carpet. Each one carefully chosen to avoid detection no matter what room we occupied. So by no means would these be considered accidents. Being mainly Australian Shepherd, her intelligence has been our biggest enemy.
-END RANT-

At first, we granted her adjustment time. Figuring that the trauma of being in a pound for seven days, just being fixed and then thrown into a new environment. She was deserving of a few get out of jail pee cards.

But then it didn’t stop. In addition to the aforecited problems, I started to feel my affinity for our new family member begin to falter. Not wanting to grow any resentment towards Ms. Dela Mae, we stepped up our efforts to get our belle house broken.

Timely walks-                          check
Kennel kept-                            check
more timely walks (5am)-     check
no water before bed-              check
Anti-puppy-pee spray-          check
untimely walks-                       check
still pee’s in the house-          check

It came down to this, make Dela an outside dog or find a new home for her. Two options I just didn’t want to see happen. So I decided on one last option-

AN INVISIBLE FENCE  (Insert Echo Effect Here)FENCE FENCE FENCE FENCE FENCE…

Partnered with a doggy door, I assumed this option would solve her jumping the fence and also allow her to venture in and out of the house to do her business. All on her own time.

The cost for everything was a bit much and it took about a day of labor to dig the trench that circumnavigated my backyard. The doggy door was simple enough, except that the one purchased was for a entryway that was much taller than ours. After a few modifications to the puppy-pee-portal, testing circuits and burying copper lines, I was done.

Now for those of you who don’t know how an invisible fence works here is the four uno uno on that shiz.

Dog is fitted with collar which is battery powered and contains some sort of sensor.
Boundary is created with copper wire.
Dog approaches boundary, transmitter uses magic to detect copper wire and emits behavioral correcting shock to dog creating awareness of newly set boundaries.

Of course curiosity got the better me and my kiddos. And with the battery now half drained from us shocking each other into uncontrollable giggle fits. We equipped our hairy family member with her SPARK-ly new necklace and proceeded to monitor her reaction.

As per the pamphlet’s instructions, I gave her leashed walks in the backyard, treats to show her what areas were “safe” and lots and lots of affection. Most importantly though, give it time to work.

Initially, Dela was still her stubborn self. I witnessed her power through the electric force field to freedom as she bound over the fence. I heard her yelp at the pricks when she attempted all known exits when she thought no one was around. I even found her begin to dig in the middle of the yard seemly looking for a safer escape route.

I wanted this to work so badly. I began to lose sight at what it was doing to my dog. It started to dawn on me that the whole experience just down right scared her. The first few shocks freaked her out yes. But then came the refusal to leave the house all together. The exact opposite place I wanted her to be. Locking the doggy door and bringing her back outside provided more of the same…a frightened puppy.

The backyard was now her enemy, annoyingly, it became mine as well. With her new refusal to have anything to do with the outside world. Her pee spots quickly became her poop spots. Dela took her newly shrunken world very hard. The few times when she was alone out back, our adjacent neighbor notified me of Dela’s presence in their yard. Not happy to be playing with their two dogs, but frightened trying to get inside the house.  So, still jumping the fence and desecrating my carpet I almost lost it…but as instructed I gave her time.

After a while she lost her energy, her zest for life…she wasn’t my Dela anymore. She moped around, didn’t eat much and was a shadow of her former self. I thought I broke my dog and I had a feeling that not even duct tape could fix her.

Slowly, she came around. She seemed to have come to terms with her new limitations and began to emerge from her forced upon funk. I started to see my happy tail-wagging puppy again.  But all this made me begin to think a much bigger thing had unfolded right in front of my eyes.

Dela Mae being a dog, had no idea what happened to her world. To her, one day the world was open to her. As long as no one was watching she could do anything and go anywhere she wanted to. Then out of nowhere she was blindsided, and fight it as she did, her world as she knew it had ended. Or so it had seemed…

I have come to the conclusion that she emerged from her funk for one very good reason. Dela realized that this single event would not stop her from being who she is.

-She adjusted, she overcame and she found herself again.

It is with these thoughts that I realize our own worlds are not very much different from Dela Mae’s. Things happen, boundaries are set and shit just sometimes sucks. But how we deal with these matters and the things we learn from them defines our character. We all can take notice to Dela’s victory over adversity. Either you painfully pass through the electric fence, you cower in your safe place, or do it all and emerge from the funk albeit a little wiser.

My admiration for my dog has grown ten-fold following these proceedings.Though she leaves us the occasional pee-present. Dela Mae gave me, and my carpet, a break from the pooping. Happily the fence jumping has ended as well. She’s my puppy again!

Seems as though my dog and I taught each other a few life lessons with all this. Taking a step back, I can recount many Invisible Fences in my life that seemingly popped up out of the blue. Proudly, I can say I emerged just as Dela has. A little shocked and all the more enlightened about the world around me.

~~Cute Janessa~~

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*****For the record, I am not trying to be an advocate for this route of animal training nor was it my first, second, third or fourth choice in the matter. This was decided after many discussions with my other half. We are not dog trainers nor do we pretend to be. We tried what we knew best when it comes to housebreaking a dog. Along with many other suggestions from friends and family we couldn’t find anything that worked for our Dela Mae. I may be making light of the situation but truthfully we felt as though this was our last option before we sought a new family for her.