Arnold Schwarzenegger

A is for Appetite ….. just kidding, it’s for Arnold Schwarzenegger

I am pretty excited to jump on this bandwagon, albeit a bit late. The premise? I’m not entirely sure it’s the same for everyone. There is an A to Z Challenge, where bloggers can subscribe and blog everyday of a month (i.e. using a letter of the alphabet every day) on a particular subject, such as April’s challenge on the subject of Survivor. My friend Rachel is also doing this challenge, and her blog (Under the Tapestry) is incredibly insightful. She got the idea from her friend Lara, who also makes themes for her challenges. Her latest one was “A Romantic Alphabet,” as Lara is a “romance author (with a scientific twist).”

MY TURN!

Starting this challenge was a bit difficult. I wanted to pick something fantastic for the first letter of the alphabet; but, the more I thought about it, the more items I had to choose from. Do I write about my sister Amanda? My academic aptitude? How I was this close to joining the Army? So many choices for just one simple letter. Naturally, I decided not to do any of these, and instead focus on my appetite and how that brings me to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

When I was younger, I was average build for a child. That is, until I was sent to live with my grandparents in Arizona when I was 6. It was then that my father, whom I was running from (long story that involves a lot of repressed memories …. that I am starting to remember), started telling me that my mother made me fat. I was 7.

This is me before being sent to live with my grandparents:
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[From L-to-R: Reychl, Amanda, and Me …. we always dressed alike, whether we wanted to or not]

You see? Pretty average. I also had some straight hair at this age … which quickly changed by grade 4. But by grade 5, not only was I ‘fat’, I also made a friend who tamed my hair.

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[Me, grade 5. Not fat and awesome hair. Is it bad that I think this is one of the best photos of me ever? I truly felt beautiful this day. Every boy in my class fell from their chairs when I walked in, and the girls stared and smiled. It was MY day and it was the BEST day.]

But, I say, what do you expect to happen when a child lives with grandparents? I missed my family, I was miles and miles away (seriously, I lived in Arizona and my family lived in Michigan), and I had no friends. So, I watched Top Gun every single day. Seriously. Every. Single. Day. I would even fall asleep next to a family portrait (of my aunts and uncles) staring at my mother. When the Easter Bunny came, he hid my Easter basket behind this portrait. He knew my sorrow. So, to recap, I missed everyone, I ate, and I sat on my butt watching Top Gun. Every day. …. until my sisters and mom joined me and we all caught chicken pox. It was beautiful misery.

But, I digress (did I mention the ADD thing?).

My dad was a pretty fit guy, and he was from ‘the old country’ (i.e. the former Czechoslovakia, the now Slovakia). When he lived there, he helped his family make marble caskets (which stayed above ground) and built many of the houses in the city (then village). He needed to stay fit just to survive his job; his life.

I don’t have many photos of my dad, but this is one of them.
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[My dad and me, probably in 1982, which made him 32 years old. With all of those muscles.]

I keep talking about my dad like he isn’t here anymore, and that’s true. He died in 1998 (I was 16), and it still weighs on me. I still cry. So … call it “daddy issues” or whatever else, but Arnold Schwarzenegger reminds me of my dad. The accents aren’t entirely the same, but the humour is. And those muscles.

Arnold was completely driven from a young age; he wanted to make it to America and he knew bodybuilding was his ticket. My dad didn’t want to be in the military, he fled, and he ended up in Canada. Close enough.

I miss my dad. I miss him so much. Sometimes I wonder if it’s silly or unfounded because of my past, but I can’t help it. I miss him and I love him and I would give anything just to see him again and tell him those things. But I can’t.

So …….. it became a goal of mine to own every single Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. Don’t laugh. I’m being serious. Plus, laughing would be mean, and I just poured my heart out. I have most of them; Arnold is credited for 54 titles, in which two are announced (hello, Triplets anyone?!), one is post-production (Terminator, YES!), and one is completed, making it 50 titles that are available. Some of the 50 titles also include television appearances, etc, so there aren’t really 50 movies. I need less tan 10 to complete my collection!

LESS THAN 10.

So, there you have it. I feel strange getting some of this off my chest (if you will), but hey, maybe this blog will be therapeutic.

I look forward to letting you all get to know me.

Sunday Living: Meet the kids!

Sometimes, I struggle with what to write about. Like, what on earth is too much information and what on earth is interesting enough. I am, by far, so un-interesting.

But, since I already introduced you all to my beautiful wife (here), I figured I should introduce you to our babies! We have 4 beautiful fur babies: 3 girls and 1 boy.

Boys first! This is my dapper young man, Arnold. He was named after the Arnold. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Kristi and I found him the same day we took Wrolea (you will meet her soon enough) to get her very first hair cut. We saw this little kitten get hit by a car, roll away, and hide in a hole in the median. We rushed in our car, turned around so fast, and hopped out of the car so quickly. Kristi searched the side of the road, just in case the little fellow crossed it while we parked the car. I ran into the road, found the little kitty looking up at me, grabbed him and held him to my chest. He has forever since been a boob kitty.
Arnold

He’6 about 6.5-7 years old now. It must be the year of mischief. He is constantly getting in to stuff these days and always tries to convince us that he did not do it.

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Like here. Believe it or not, he did not know there were flowers in the house. … and he swears, it was not him that ate them all.

Girls next. We have Wrolea (pronounced Rolly), Adia, and Daisy.

I have to talk about Wrolea next. She is my heart and soul. I was so lonely when I moved to Florida, and I just wanted someone to bond with. I looked all over Craigslist for a dog. I was hoping to find a male miniature dachshund but I found her instead. She was one dog of two litters and they were all in pretty bad shape. I picked her up, she was shy, but then she did the best thing ever. She fell asleep in my arms, and then slowly fell backward to reveal her chubby belly. I knew right then and there, she was mine. She was covered in fleas. I’m talking about every inch of her. They were either crawling around, or imbedded into her skin feeding. I took her to the vet and they said she was momments away from needing a blood transfusion! They gave her a portion of a pill (because she was just 6 weeks old) and when all the fleas died, I had to go to work. I bathed her, and then for 8 straight hours, I pulled the fleas out of her skin one-by-one with tweezers: out of every crease in her ears, toes, and all over the open skin.  A few days later when she was starting to recover from the blood loss, she was so lively. She started doing puppy things – like chewing up all of my shoes, peeing all over the floors, and pouncing on me in the middle of the night. Still, to this day, her belly skin is blackened from the scars I had to leave behind. She is my Wrolea, and she is 7 years old.
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Wrolea is the lab-chow mix in the back.

Since, I inadvertently introduced you to the other dog, I should just carry on. Her name is Daisy. She kind of wiggled her way into our little family very slowly. When she was just a puppy, we babysat her a few times. Then, the family that had her asked us if we wanted to keep her because Daisy (who went by Daliah at the time, but that was just too hard for me to say.) Daisy was just too energetic for this family, and their other animals just didn’t appreciate being pounced on all the time. So, we took her in, and she managed to wiggle her way into the lives of the other babies too!

Seriously, who could say no to this face?
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She is a cuddler, that Daisy! Daisy is about 3 years old.

This leaves the last, and most regal, to the end. Meet Queen Adia. Her name isn’t Queen Adia, it’s a title she demands. Adia rules the household, and I firmly believe nothing happens without her consent. Kristi came in to our relationship with Adia (and the late Moe, a basset hound.) Adia loves to scratch all of the wood working in the house, and she loves to chase Daisy. Every other time of the day, you can find her looking very pretty and put together.

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Our lovely Adia. She is about 10 or 11 years old.

There you have it. My family! As I write this, they are all sleeping next to me. What a perfect Sunday!