2

To my angel

Dear Molly,1479473_10152098124637744_1174844314_n

Where do I start with you? Your ability to change even non-dog loving people into (at the very least) Molly-lovers is amazing.

Your quiet demeanour and sweet nature make you instantly loveable. Anybody who doesn’t melt when they look at your smiling face clearly has no soul. I admire your enthusiasm for EVERYTHING (which is why your name tag says “Molly!“), your ability to accept change without fear, and your desire to make friends with every dog and person you meet.

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1544608_10152102793967744_1038777652_nYou make me laugh constantly. Your funny faces, ears that seem to have a mind of their own, and your little butt that wiggles when you’re happy melt my heart. And who knew one dog could find so many interesting ways to sleep on one chair?

You have always been so curious about the world – even as a puppy you were constantly picking up things from the ground and bringing them inside. I lost count of the number of times I had to pull a twig, or rock, or beer bottle cap from your mouth after a quick outing to the park. Even now your nose is always to the ground taking everything in.

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I also love that YOU love to get dirty – you are always the first one to jump in the snow, in the mud, or in the lake. I have countless images of you sleeping in the dirt in the summer to keep cool. You remind me that it’s not always necessary to be pristine to be cute.

580287_10151541709002744_1832211354_nI’m pretty sure that you are my own personal angel, sent here to remind me to chill the fuck out sometimes. You have been an absolute perfect, low maintenance, sweet dog, and  you have managed to double the love in my heart – and the love in my life.

Love,

Ashley

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4

To my beautiful girl

Dear Ruby,

1477345_10152098155572744_235941081_nYou are an amazing dog. I want nothing more than to see you happy for the rest of your life. I don’t know what your life was like before you came to me – I only know that it was neglectful and stressful, and I can’t even imagine how anyone could even think of not loving you as much as you give love.

 

602893_10151380850072744_679957698_nOur bond was immediate and I loved that you seemed to trust me right away – not even hesitating to jump in the truck for the first ride home and promptly falling asleep in the front seat. You were a bit beat up, thin and emaciated with droopy skin and a very noticeable scar on your leg but I still think you were beautiful. It’s been amazing to watch you go from a sickly looking dog to show dog material in only a matter of months – all you needed to thrive was a proper diet, and a little bit of love.

I’ve loved watching you come out of your shell and slowly show your true silly self – from a somewhat shy and reserved dog to the silly girl that has no problem throwing her own toys for a game of chase if nobody else feels like playing. I love that you would put my life before yours without hesitation – and I’m reminded of the first night when you stepped in front of me, barking, to warn off a strange man who wanted to ask for directions.

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1382177_10151907802637744_666175728_nI’m sad that you have issues with other dogs. I don’t know where it stems from, but I can only guess that it comes from living in a stressful environment for most of your life. My wish is that you could learn to trust other dogs and be able to play with them the same way you play with me – you could be such a good playmate for other dogs if you could overcome your fear and aggression and I would love to see you able to run with other dogs without stress.

970902_10151799042172744_2030213495_nI want you to know that you have absolutely nothing to worry about anymore. You will always have food, water, and a warm place to sleep. You will always have love and affection and toys to occupy you. Nobody will ever hurt you again, or neglect you, or cause you pain or worry. You are safe.

Love,

Ashley

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1

Jamaica 2014 (Trip #1)

WARNING: Image intensive!

My Jamaica trip was over a month ago, and I took a ton of pictures. Below are the best of the bunch, and I hope I captured some of the beauty of the island.

It was definitely an adventure, for many reasons. One, I seem to have fallen in love. Two, it was so much more interesting seeing the interior, away from the pretty resorts. Yes, there is a lot of poverty, but people make do with what they have fairly well. I had a blast hanging out with A for a full 10 days straight. The sex was amazing as usual. His family and friends are great – and I was able to swim in the ocean for the first time in years!

This is my favourite image, it captures the beautiful mountains. We did a lot of driving within the middle of the island, through the mountains. The roads can be treacherous but the views can also be breathtaking:

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Every house is painted in it’s own creative colour/designs – it makes for a really colourful landscape:

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This is view of the ocean on the way to visit A’s uncle’s house (under construction). We got a bit lost and had to ask for directions:

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One of my favourite moments was in Montego Bay at Pier 1 – after a day at the beach we came here for dinner:

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A’s mother’s dog – adorable! We became good friends:

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Sunset on the first night there:

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A panoramic view outside of A’s house:

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A’s neighbour’s house – this guy lives alone but in the early morning hours he will start yelling at a woman who isn’t really there. Very bizarre:

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A “tyre” shop, these are everywhere:

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A bar on the side of the road – these are also everywhere:

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A banana shop – there is no shortage of fruit:

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Sunset from down the road outside of A’s house:

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A’s house is the one in the center:

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One of the first places we went was Mystic Mountain just outside of Montego Bay:

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On the way to Mystic Mountain we passed this “Duppy” (Ghost) Church. It’s actually called that on Google Maps. The story goes that the congregation was being harassed by ghosts so they abandoned the church and moved to another one down the road somewhere. The church now sits abandoned and most locals won’t go near it. I, of course, had to explore it. It took me a week to convince A to take me back there. He stayed well outside and refused to enter the grounds, so I explored by myself!

p.s. I am not haunted from the experience and I was not harassed by ghosts:

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One of the best days was when we went to YS Falls – these are natural falls that you can swim in. Aside from being beautiful it was so refreshing:

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Finally, some randomness! I was happy to find Heineken, but Red Stripe isn’t so bad either:

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Relaxing on the veranda at A’s:

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Montego Bay beach (more for locals than tourists):

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A guy on stilts:

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Hope you enjoyed!

1

Last weekend! Sad face now.

The very last weekend with A is about to begin – come Monday morning he will be on a plane back home, where I won’t see him until January 28th.

I am keeping positive though by making plans to keep busy dancing and sleeping more. I’ll be starting to take classes starting next week – Bellydance, Urban Bellydance, and Dancehall – for fun and for exercise and to hopefully compensate for the lack of sex I’ll be having in the coming months. Sex though has been the reason I’ve barely slept this week. I’ve been going to bed at the usual time but being woken up at 2:30/3am to A groping me. I’m not complaining though, I’d rather have sex and no sleep than no sex at all given the upcoming circumstances.

I think I’ll really miss him though, and for more than just the sex.

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0

Life is good.

It really is. I don’t have many complaints at the moment, though it would be great to have more money coming in. The most stressful part of being separated has been going from two incomes to one, while maintaining the same lifestyle. I’m on an actual budget so I can get the finances under control as well as be able to afford that trip to Jamaica next year.

Speaking of Jamaica, A and I are doing really well and I fall for him a little more each time I see him. There are so many things I just love about this man, such as:

– He is a good man, right down to the small things like opening doors and carrying the heavy items
– He is extremely close to his mother (you can judge a man by how he treats his mother)
– He always smells fantastic
– He will make an excellent father and provider
– I feel safe around him
– My family likes him (and my mother has proposed a family bowling night before he leaves)
– His body is exactly my preference
– The sex is fantastic
– He’s a good influence on me! I sleep more, drink less, and eat better around him

Enough of that mushy love stuff, I’m still learning to be comfortable with it, baby steps please!

 

3

This must be love, or something close

I’ve seen a change in myself. I’m not sure if I like it. I liked that I found romance to be awkward and was often uncomfortable if an effort was made from a man to be romantic. I don’t do rose petals on the bed, or songs being sung to me, or even flowers (though flowers are rather innocent and I don’t so much mind this). All of this mostly just makes me feel uncomfortable and I don’t know how to react and I wish I was anywhere other than where the romance was happening.

But A makes me want to make mixed tapes for chrissakes. Mixed tapes! Do you know how long it’s been since I made a mixed tape for a boy? He makes me want to do some of those romantic things that I would have shunned only a few months ago. It’s not at the point where I want to run through a field of daisies holding hands with him, but maybe there’s something more to this romance thing than I originally thought?
 
I love that he always carries the heavy bags, without asking. That he always opens doors for me. That he will wrap his arms around me sometimes and hold my hand at the most random times.
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Maybe because I’ve been so used to doing things on my own I haven’t really been open to actual romance. What I mean by that is that I mostly handled all of the household chores when I was married and living with my ex before. When we separated things didn’t change that much for me in that respect. I always cleaned. I always handled the bills. The only difference going from married to single was that I suddenly had the whole bed to myself (and I know I’m severely oversimplifying the whole marriage thing and of course my ex brought a lot more to the table, like emotional support, but even that I was able to replace with super awesome friends like Mr. Dreads).
 
Sidenote: I’m in no way saying that my ex wasn’t important to me or that he didn’t play a huge role in my life for a long time, I’m only saying that my day to day life didn’t change very much.
 
So in the spirit of trying to be a girl for once and embracing romance, I’ve started to keep a playlist of songs to send to A when I feel like it. This is what we do. We send each other songs.
 
In no particular order:
 
And he has sent me:
 
You can puke now.
1

Meeting the Parents

(Well, at least one parent anyway)

I had invited A over to my mother’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, as another way of acclimating him to Canadian traditions and also because I want to spend as much time with him as possible and I want to show him off to…well, everyone.

I picked him up in the afternoon on Monday and we headed to my mom’s house. He didn’t seem to be nervous but as we got closer to our destination I started to feel nervous. I’ve never actually had that happen before when bringing a man to meet my family so I’m not sure what was going on. I suppose I just really care what my mom thinks and I want her to like him because I like him so much.

Only my sister and her boyfriend were there when we arrived so it was a nice way to ease him into the craziness that can be my family (it’s all a good crazy though). I have 2 sisters and 3 brothers, and most of us have significant others that accompany us to family functions. Then there is also my aunt and her boyfriend and my cousin and her boyfriend, and usually 6 dogs total – so yeah, things can be rather hectic.

The night went very well, and A made a good impression on everyone. Afterwards he said he thought that he was going to feel uncomfortable, but actually he felt very comfortable. That’s always a good sign. My mother said she really likes him, that he is quiet and seems very nice. My stepfather thought he was very pleasant.

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I think my mother noticed (as mothers usually do) how happy I am around A, and is making an effort to get everyone together one more time before he leaves to go bowling.

In other news, I was challenged by A to make Jamaican Patties, and I think I succeeded. It may have taken hours (it’s not the easiest thing in the world to make and it was the first time) but they came out really good. Except that the first batch stuck to the bottom of the pan and most of them broke apart….but I have more in the freezer that I can pop in anytime! And yes, I’m proud to say that these are 100% made from scratch (even the shells!)

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2

“Are you in love?”

This is what my mother asked me over the weekend.

I said “No, of course not, it’s too soon.”

But then yesterday I found myself looking at rings online. What the fuck? Way too soon for that.

A is meeting my mother’s side of the family on Monday for Thanksgiving. It should be interesting. I hope she likes him, but I’m pretty sure she will. I think my dad will also like him but we’re going to leave that meeting for when A is back in Canada next year.

Did I mention I’m planning on going to Jamaica in February to visit A? It’s also an opportunity to see his family and make sure everything is on the up-and-up. You never know….I’ve learned that lesson a few times over now.

I am cautiously optimistic about this one – I can see myself settling down with him but at the same time I’m watching for things out of the ordinary. I don’t want to get hurt again.

These are the things that go through my head that I would normally never admit to anyone – but what’s the point of having a blog if not to admit even the most ridiculous thoughts?

Oh, I should also mention that I’ve started the paperwork for the divorce order, and expect to be officially single as of the end of the year. Happy New Year I guess!

2

There’s a lot of “like” around here these days

You know I’m in serious like with someone when I bake them cookies.

A got home late last night from work after a long day. I asked him half-jokingly whether he wanted me to make him cookies. He said yes. I made chocolate chip cookies and then dropped them off at his place.

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I think I’m in trouble!

I never updated about our trip to Niagara Falls this weekend – it is part of the “things to do in Canada” list that can now be crossed off. We had a lot of fun and took a lot of pictures. At one point we were holding hands and it felt good. I swear I’m not usually like this, I don’t know what this man does to me. I usually shun lovey-dovey stuff so this is quite a different side of myself. I’m not sure whether I like it – I don’t want to be one of those women (you know the kind I’m talking about!).

In other news, and with the exception of Mr. Basketball who has been MIA for weeks now, all the men on the side have now been told that I’m not available for anything romantic. I guess that really does make it official…