For the last couple of years, I’ve been preparing to move 1,000 miles away from the only home I’ve ever known. And eight days ago, I finally made it.
Well, WE made it. Couldn’t have done it without the support of my ride-or-die, Tiny.
I’ve been unpacking, trying to re-start my regular workout schedule, getting feelers out for my future entrepreneurial venture, planning out the renovations I’ll be doing for my parents, and getting to know the area.
But I’ll have plenty of experiences to write about in the coming days, so consider this your warning. 😉
It’s been far too long since I updated my blog. No excuses other than I’ve been living a very boring existence the last few weeks. But now that I’m preparing to move to South Carolina on May 15, I knew I had to hit up some of Rhode Island’s treasures.
A life-long Rhode Islander, I had never heard of Stanley’s until I asked for burger recommendations a couple years ago on Facebook. (As much as people complain about their friends posting food photos and updates, I love hearing about good restaurants! And it sure beats angry political posts, n’est-ce pas?)
First things first: They have a parking lot. Having to find a place to park in an unfamiliar area stresses me out, so this was a bonus.
I walked in to find a retro-’60s-style diner restaurant. Amazing. And fitting, because the prices are also pretty retro.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about new restaurants, it’s this: ASK THE WAIT STAFF.
Brittany was amazingly helpful. All burgers are made with grilled onions and pickles, unless otherwise requested. I’m no pickle fan, but I still got my burger the Stanley Way, and it was a good choice. The flavors all work well together.
This is my first taste of the very tasty Stanley burger.
If you’re heading into or out of Rhode Island, check out Stanley’s. I hear it gets pretty crowded, so be prepared to wait.
Maybe not everyone…but some people definitely think so.
Newsflash, dog owners: Not everyone likes your dog.
Dog owners (or guardian, caregiver, parent – whichever term you use), probably struggle the most with this concept.
Can’t they see how handsome/beautiful, intelligent, charming, and well-behaved Fido is??
“If you have a dog, you will have enemies in the neighborhood.”
~Claire J. Senecal (My mom)
People will take their dislike of you and/or your dog out on you secretly or passive aggressively.
Nine times out of 10, you and your dog will be targets in some way because you’re unconsciously being inconsiderate.
IS YOUR DOG LEASHED? It’s the law in most towns. Keeping Fido on a leash puts people at ease and provides you with better control over his behavior.
You’ll know when and where he’s pooped and can clean up. You should always clean up. Always.
If you disregard leash laws, most people assume you are disobeying other laws, like leaving your dog’s waste everywhere: parks, bike trails, sidewalks, front lawns.
Dog waste is a bacteria-filled biohazard. Nobody wants to step in it, slip on it, see it, or smell it. BE RESPONSIBLE.
I guarantee you that if you choose to disregard leash etiquette, someone out there is secretly plotting revenge. Or fantasizing about it. I guarantee it.
Worse is when people walk their dogs without a leash and call out, as it’s running up to you, “It’s okay! He’s friendly!”
No, it’s not okay. You have no way of keeping that dog away from or off of me without a leash. You don’t know my (hypothetical) deepest fears or reasons dogs scare me. You don’t know how much therapy I’ve had to try to overcome that fear. I was enjoying my fresh air and exercise, and now I’m experiencing PTSD.
I’ve been training dogs for 40 years. Every smart dog trainer or owner knows these three words to be true, “Never say never.”
Almost every dog bite begins with a dog who is not under physical control while his owner says, “My dog would NEVER run away or bite a person or dog.”
I know of at least a dozen people whose animals were bitten by an off-leash dog whose owners claimed, “He’s friendly. He would never bite another dog. He’s never done that before!”
If you’re out socializing with your dog, and you’re not at least a little stressed because you’re being hypervigilant about Fido’s interactions, then you’re doing it wrong.
We all make mistakes. I’ve made plenty. But I like to think I’ve learned from them.
“Do the best that you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
One of my old neighbors (super nice guy) once said to me, “I think one of the neighbors poisoned my last dog. He used to complain about Rex pooping in his yard.”
Because Rex was let out to roam free around the neighborhood and do what he liked, wherever he liked, twice a day.
Rex may have been poisoned. It may have been intentional or unintentional. Rex could have inadvertently gotten into some spilled antifreeze. They’ll never know.
The former neighbor’s next dog, Spot, was also let out to roam free around the neighborhood. Does this mean the neighbor’s a gambler? An optimist? Or just stupid or lazy?
What would you do if you suspected your dog had been poisoned?
Dogs are a wonderful addition to a family. They can improve your health, decrease your stress, calm your anxiety. But your dog is your responsibility. You need to be considerate of others’ feelings.
If your dog misbehaves, it’s because you didn’t train him well and aren’t providing a mentally and physically stimulating life for him.
If you really love your dog, you want him to be safe.
Don’t you just hate sitting around in waiting rooms? Whether it’s a doctor’s office, an auto repair shop, or the DMV, you are at their mercy. Are they ever on time?
And who doesn’t feel resentful about it? You have to take time out of work, which infuriates your employer, or you’re losing money or precious free time if you’re taking vacation or are self-employed.
We are constantly running around and sometimes that’s the only thing keeping us from falling apart – inertia.
But while I was on my walk through the woods yesterday, I spotted a snow-covered bench and thought, “Let me clear this off today so that if I want to take a rest on my walk tomorrow, I can.”
So I did. And today, I was grateful. The point is that we’re all going Mach 5, and we never have the time to breathe, nevermind to plan. My work environment was like that. It was unhealthy and counterproductive.
Humans need many things to thrive – not just survive. A tree may get plenty of water, but without the soil in which to plant its roots, one heavy wind can knock it over.
We’re all very fragile these days. Can we at least agree to try not to be someone else’s heavy wind?
Listen, I’m not trying to pretend I’m the Dalai Lama or Confucius or any philosopher capable of deep, brilliant thoughts…but something about being out in nature enables me to think differently about a myriad of things.
Go outside. Take a walk. Change your perspective. You’ll thank yourself.
As a self-proclaimed connoisseur (not really, I just love donuts!) I was overjoyed to discover that there’s a gourmet donut shop in Bluffton, SC. I’ve been following Alljoy Donut Co. on Facebook for months. Of course I had to check them out while I was in Hilton Head on vacation.
Here’s my messy, one-take, unedited video review:
What’s your favorite donut shop, and where is it? Hit me up in the comments.
I have driven past this place hundreds of times and have wanted to stop in for a closer look.
So I finally did, because my new motto, as you may remember, is “why not?”
If you’ve driven by The Secret Garden on Rte 7 near D’Agostino Auto, you’ve probably done a double-take.
It’s almost impossible to miss this 8-foot metal, colorful sculpture of a tyrannosaurus rex in their front yard.
So… what’s the deal?
Husband and wife team Paul and Melanie have had their business there for 3 years. They call themselves a “family-run statuary” and mostly pour stone molds like these:
But the metal sculptures are imported from Mexican artisans.
I love the whimsy and color.
If you’re looking for a yard decoration, I’d highly recommend stopping in to The Secret Garden on Rte 7. They’ve got something for everyone and are as friendly as can be. Check out their inventory on their website.