Monthly Archives: April 2013

I feel closest to the devil when I’m bored indoors…

Wow, that’ a genius line! That’s on the level of, “needs to be a line in a country-western song” good!

Okay, enough bragging on my one-hit-title-writing-wonder-line (can you tell I’m in a fantastic mood.

                            It was a good day! 27

The weather was  all-star today. It makes it hard to be in a bad mood when mother nature is happy.

I was fortunate enough to spend the WHOLE day outside! At work I had sunshine on my face in active bliss, when I got home my dog was raring to go & get some warm-weather love on his body. When he saw me grab his hiking harness he immediately turned into a crazed, psychopathic, pony-prancing, kangaroo-jumping, rodeo-spinning bull, neurotic in his delirious happiness at what he knew was to come.

I understand that feeling.

Recently a good friend of mine posted a photo of herself out on the hiking trail & referred to it as her “church” (blog-bomb for Heidi H. Winking smile). Now this is a good friend (not just one of those “good-friend” terms people toss around to make them sound more popular. But an honest-to-goodness good friend). She’s one of the most inspiring, energetic, blissfully contagious people I’ve ever met & has been such a source of strength for me in my recent journey of living a healthier lifestyle. If I’m being honest though, I was a little taken aback by her reference to being outdoors on a beautiful Sunday & calling it “church”. I didn’t think it was wrong for her to feel this way, but something about the reference didn’t sit well with me. It felt somewhat…belittled…to me & I couldn’t quite put my finger on why it made me uncomfortable to compare the two.

So I did nothing. I pushed the thought out of my mind, knowing the answer would reveal itself to me in due time. When I was more accepting & open to dissecting it.

We had a medical setback in our family recently, which meant some time spend in the hospital visiting a relative of mine that I love very much. Unsure of the seriousness & future of the diagnosis it resulted in some stressful days (don’t worry, things have since balanced out!), however, the nice weather days that were granted to North Eastern Ohio, I spent them indoors…in the hospital…stressed out…crabby…short-tempered. When things settled down & I found myself with a free day off; I slept in, woke up & did absolutely nothing that day! I mean…nothing! I didn’t even get out of my pajamas! While to some, that may seem like a PERFECT way to spend the day, but for me, when I crawled into bed that night I felt…angry…bitchy…crabby…mean…hateful…pissed off. I didn’t even know WHAT  I was mad about, just that I was mad & felt like taking it out on someone (and unfortunately it was the rare day that my wine rack was completely empty, double bummer!)

Naturally I took out my frustration & vengeance on God (He got the wrath of Carey spewed forth. But after all, he’s God…so he was probably expecting it!). This came forth by way of cursing, defiance & self-loathing. I refused to read my Bible (that’ll show him!) & I refused to spend my time in meditative prayer (which I try to do every night before bed).

It was while laying in bed, fuming in hate, in the absolute quiet darkness of my bedroom that a thought popped into my head,”you didn’t talk to me at all today…”…and I had no excuse because I hadn’t. By doing “nothing” all day, I had distanced myself from God & opened the door for the devil to walk in, where he revealed himself in me by way of the vile things I was saying about myself to the Lord, the anger that I was displacing unto the Lord.

When I’m “bored” I make bad decisions. When I veg out & waste my time, I’m not showing God glory. Every second counts & is important. The devil knows when I’m at my weakest & that’s when he works his magic by attacking my thoughts (for what person on this planet doesn’t give in to negative thoughts when they’ve got nothing to do but “think”).

I HATE being indoors for to long. It’s no joke that it truly alters my personality. I’m passionate about hiking & I have a deep rooted love for nature. I did not realize it until that night but being on the hiking trail, being out in a nature that was kissed by God, was my church too! For that is the place where I feel closest to God. Where I know He’s hiking with me & where I ALWAYS talk to him. It’s where I think clearest, where my troubles seem manageable & where I can hear God talking & listening to me.

Now don’t get me wrong or misunderstand me, I LOVE going to my “home” church. It’s the church I’ve attended since I was a child. My most treasured 27.2memories, tears, & faces lie in that building. You NEED to have a church “family” in your walk with  Christ; people that support you & hold you accountable. God is in that place! But I CRAVE my one-on-one time with a God that breathed life into me. A God that knows the depths of my heart better than I do & therefore, he knows the way to get me listening to Him is by sending me outdoors on an open trail with a dog that loves hiking as much as I do.

I was judgmental in a way that I didn’t even realize I was being towards a friend that I hold the utmost respect & admiration for. How dare I ever judge how God decides to communicate with his children! How dare I ever assume that just because somebody chooses to attend or not attend your standard-brick-building-with-the-cross-on-the-door “church” that they have any less of a relationship with God than I do. I have no idea how God works in other people’s lives, when I’m (barely) beginning to understand how he’s working in mine!

I pray all the time, constantly, that God keeps my ears tuned in, my mind receptive, & my eyes open to his direction, voice, & guidance. He does just that whenever I’m fueling my obsession for being outdoors. I always end my hikes feeling light, relaxed, peaceful, with a full heart & a mind overflowing with positive thoughts, counting down the moments until my next hike in the sunshine.

And isn’t that what time with the Lord is supposed to feel like?

“The Lord talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire.”-Deuteronomy 5:4-

See ya out on the hiking trail!






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"HEALTHY" (er) easy, peasy Apple Dumplings…

I recently had dinner with my Grandma (Grandma’s are ALWAYS the best cooks! I think when you become a Grandma you’re automatically a phenomenal cook!) & for dessert she made me some ooey, gooey, apple-burrito thingy-ma-bobs (that’s the “technical term”). They were dee-lish! She even sent me home with leftovers for my next-day work lunch, which I never got to eat after I graciously gave a co-worker a bite only to have him thieve the remanding off my desk when I wasn’t looking…snake!

So I have to give credit when credit is due, the idea for part of this recipe came from her. I “veganized” it & “cleaned” it as much as I could. It does contain honey (since I no longer use refined sugar in my recipe’s).

I used a Honeycrisp Apple, since those are my absolute favorite & I keep them in constant stock on my countertop fruit bowl. I know they’re not known as being good “baking” apples, but I thought they baked up just fine! MacIntosh, Braeburn or Granny Smith would probably be even better (I just rarely branch out from Honeycrisp). Also, I don’t drink pop so its not something I keep stocked, but substituting 7up for Club Soda would give you more of a “sugary” taste in the glaze (since Club Soda is only carbonated water it doesn’t contain sugar to break down. Sauce was pretty bland, which I like, & I tasted more of the natural honey).

Its super easy to make & great for a quick fix when you’re craving something different.

Try it & let me know what you think! Smile

“HEALTHY” (er) easy, peasy Apple Dumplings


*overlook the Soy Milk & pudding box in this pic. Originally I had tried to make some soy-whipped-cream out of vegan pudding to eat on top. Major Fail!*

1pkg. store bought crescent rolls (I didn’t use a vegan brand for this recipe)

1 large apple

2 TBS honey

cinnamon (however much you want, I’m generous with my cinnamon..mmmmm)

1/2 TBS soy butter (I buy Earth Balance, whipped)

2/3 c club soda

pinch of garlic powder (not salt)


Pre-heat oven to 350* (I actually made my batch in the toaster oven). Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. On the stovetop combine club soda, soy butter & honey, cook over med. heat until it thickens up & begins toappledumplings2 get “gooey” (doesn’t caramelize, however, if you use pop it would because of the heavy sugar content), stirring frequently, should take about 10-15min’s.

While sauce is cooking, roll out crescent rolls & separate into individual rolls. Slice apple into at least 8 pieces (one for each crescent roll), place apple slice onto crescent roll & roll up (bet’cha appledumplings3could’ve figured that part out on your own, huh?).


Pour 1/2 the pot of glaze over top of raw crescent rolls, sprinkle with cinnamon & the pinch of garlic (I know the garlic is weird, but growing up my mom ALWAYS added garlic powder to our cinnamon toast. Growing up she had a 80yr old babysitter that always made her cinnamon toast like that…trust me, its di-vine!!!!). Bake for 30-45min’s. Plate & add extra glaze.



Jump on the computer & send me a comment thanking me for introducing you to this little gem. Smile

No idea the calorie content (I don’t calorie-count anymore). But crescent rolls will run you about 200cal. for each roll. Not healthy by any standards, but healthier than homemade apple-dumplings. So contain yourself from eating the whole package in one sitting (its tough to do!).

You’re welcome!


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My issue with dog breeders & why I lose respect for you choosing to purchase a puppy from one…

Yep, I said it. I tried to find a nicer way of saying it, but in a nut shell that’s how I feel. Bring on the attitudes, debate, arguments, lost Facebook & Twitter followers…I think I can handle it Winking smile

It’s getting into warmer weather & for some reason that makes people think they need to bring a dog into their family. Personally I think it’s a fantastic idea, every home in the world should have at least one dog (or a cat) it’s a proven medical fact the amazing benefits that having an animal in the home can do for ones mental & physical well-being. While working, studying, & being pro-active in the animal industry can leave you a bit jaded (for the most part people are TERRIBLE pet owners) when you’re passionate about animal welfare,rights, rescue & adoption, the decisions that people sometimes make that you’re abhorrently (is that a word or did I just make one up?) against, well, it can leave you more than a bit frustrated. I’m in no way trying to pick on anyone or make them feel guilty, but I’ve talked to several friends/family lately that have chosen to buy from a breeder, even with all the information out there I can only assume its laziness because when you hear their excuses for it, it just makes me roll my eyes.

A couple years ago I wrote a blog about the pet adoption process (you can read it here: that was even before I personally went through the process with my own rescued baby. I was a supporter before, but after going through the process I’m in LOVE with animal rescue, there’s something to be said for saving a LIFE because that’s what you’re doing (do you know that even “no-kill” shelters still have a time limit on adoption? “No-kill” doesn’t mean “no-kill”). On average, for every 1 dog purchased through a breeder 100 dogs in shelters are put to sleep (think about that when you’re breeder-researching!). A big excuse I’ve heard is,”well, I’m looking for breed specific”…one quick Google search & you’ll clearly see that HUNDREDS of breed-specific animal rescue groups that are available all over the place (and I’m betting you’ll find one in your area). Did you know that a responsible breeder (and they do exist!) would have to sell his pups for close to a $1000-2000 to cover his expenses (pups shouldn’t leave the bitch until at least 12weeks of age), that’s 3months of feeding, veterinary appointments (the start of vaccine protocol), AKC papers (if being advertised as “registered”) post-pregnancy care for the bitch & if they choose to start basic puppy behavior classes. Keep in mind breeders that say “vaccinated” or “registered” might not always be telling the truth; self-vaccinated animals (vaccines you buy from TSC, Pet Smart, PetCo etc.) are not recognized at almost all veterinary clinics (most are full of saline solution, obviously, you couldn’t have injectables available OTC) & pretty much useless. And it’s so easy to fabricate fake AKC registered “papers”;if somebody says their dog is “registered” unless they have a registration number & its in the AKC database, its not true (this usually costs $100-200 per dog!). They also have to have a direct hereditary line with no discrepancy’s that have all been “registered” through AKC. In my whole professional animal-industry-working life, I’ve only come across 2 “registered” dogs with papers that didn’t turn out to be fake! So by those standards your “registered dog with papers” is most likely a fake & would never be recognized (especially be cautious if you’re looking to show & have spent $2000 dollars on this dog. Do your homework on this breeder!). Trust me, people in the animal industry that listen to you brag about your “registered” dog are really making fun of you in their heads!

Rescuing an animal is simply one of the best things you can do for yourself & that animal. They come up to date on vaccines, are spayed & neutered, have been tested through a certified animal behaviorist, & your adoption coordinator will try their hardest to match you up with an animal that is right for you & your situation. It’s going to be relatively more cost-effective ($100-200..give or take) compared to what you’d dish out the first year, in addition to, what you’ve paid for the puppy up front (if you’re a responsible pet owner, you’re looking at about $1000-$1500 for vaccines, castration, puppy classes etc.). The over-pet population is so out of control with hundreds of thousands dogs & cats being put to sleep every year in this country alone! I don’t mean to throw all “breeders” under the bus (because I have meet some amazing “licensed” breeders who have the schooling behind them, are responsible, & have taken the necessarily legal & moral route to get a breeder license. They do it to preserve a specific breed, having a deep love of the breed…I can respect that) it’s the “backyard breeders” that I have no respect for. The ones who say, “I have a Bulldog, you have a Bulldog. Let’s get them together, have babies & make some money”…sorry folks, I have no use for that thinking.

I think every single person who is contemplating bringing a new dog (or cat) into their home needs to spend a day volunteering at an animal shelter when they do mass euthanasia’s. To walk these animals (or carry) them down the hallway into the eutho-room, place this animal on a table, insert the needle, plunge the solution into the veins, & then place the body into a furnace for mass cremation, oftentimes with the animal licking your face, wanting you to pet his head, scratch his ears, purring away, unbeknownst to him what the reality is…it’ll make you sick how easily avoidable that wasted ending could’ve been.That’s what happens for dozens of animals when you purchase your new pup through a breeder. I have personally been a part of this process for many years & trust me when I tell you, you would have zero to little respect for people that breed & buy from a breeder too.

 How can you turn a blind eye to that & still chose to not do “something” if it’s in your power to change it?

Change it for one animal! Don’t breed or buy from a breeder- adopt! And make sure you spay & neuter your pets! spay&neuter

There’s a shelter animal out there right now praying you do!animalrescue2

*This video is what happens when you don’t spay/neuter, when you buy from a breeder or you choose to breed your pets. You’re part of this problem! Choose to make different decisions & be part of the solution!*





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Healthy Living: In the Kitchen making some Vegan Mayo!!

I’ve had several people ask for different recipe’s that I’ve been experimenting & playing around with. Although, I can’t take full credit for this one (I’ve stolen bits & pieces of this recipe from various sources) this is what I’ve come up with & have tailored it to my specific taste buds.

The final results taste a little like Miracle Whip (which I’m not a fan of!), however, I have not found an ingredient that’s all-natural that I can add to get that “tangy zip” gone. I’ve been recently introduced to citric acid which is an ascorbic “spice” that should work, but I haven’t bought any yet to try it out.  I’ve also played around with different spices; garlic, basil, pepper, etc. to give it different tastes, but this is the base recipe that I use. The cheapest I’ve found “vegan” mayo in the store was around $7/jar, this recipe costs me about $3 & makes about 1/2 a jar (so its almost equivalent to what you’d buy in the store). So far, I’ve preferred my homemade mayo over the vegan brands I’ve tried from the store store (they seem to taste to much like Miracle Whip for my liking). Also, I let the jar sit a few hours (usually overnight) before I eat it, the taste balances out after its been able to combine together.

Keep in mind these ingredients have been tailored to my taste, you may need to play with it a little bit to suit your own taste buds.

Let me know what you think! Smile

Vegan Mayonnaise


300g Silken Tofu (1pkg., if you can’t find “silken” I’ve used extra soft before, but you may need to blend it a little longer to get that creamy “mayo” consistency)

1 TBL. water

1/4tsp salt

1TBL lemon juice

5tsp brown sugar

1TBL Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

3tsp. white vinegar



add all ingredients together & hand mix, on low, until desired consistency (usually about a minute).*you probably could use a food processor. I don’t have one, but a hand mixer works just fine for me.*




Store in jar & refrigerate (really not sure how long it’s good for. Mine is usually gone before it starts to go bad).





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Being Caretarian: 90 (+) day update on living a more plant-based diet

ben franklin

So…I’ve been meat-less, (mostly) dairy-less, all-natural, organic, clean eating (phew, that’s a mouthful!) for a little over 90 days now. Although, I have had a few setbacks (the 2wk bing I went on when Girl Scout cookies came in, there so hard to say “no” to!) I’ve been pretty faithful & stringent on sticking to my lifestyle change (I refuse to call it a “diet”). It’s only been within the last month that I’ve really started to see heavy results, mostly because PEOPLE are starting to see results & that’s making me notice more; making me feel accountable because pride won’t let me fail.

I’d love to tell you that its been easy, but it hasn’t. It’s been an acquired taste cutting out all the additives & preservatives (not to mention cutting out dairy), at first I didn’t think I was going to be able to do this, food tastes so different when you realize what its supposed to taste like. As I’ve stated before, I’ve been making almost everything homemade & not buying as much processed/chemical-induced shelf items. The first time I made vegan mayonnaise I didn’t think I could stomach it, but after it sat overnight in the refrigerator & the flavors combined, it was actually really good! I’ve made a few batches since then & experimented with adding more of this, less of this, molding it to my tastes & I’ve finally settled on a recipe that I’m very pleased with. Sometimes the stuff I make is so good that I can’t even believe its healthy for me! (truth be told, sometimes they’ve been so bad that my dog wouldn’t even eat the leftovers—my black bean meatballs are a great example of this, major yuckage!) I’ve also noticed that my taste buds have changed since switching to plant-based, where I used to crave sweets (okay, I still get the chocolate cravings), I now crave certain fruits & veggies (my banana cravings have finally tapered off, I had to limit myself to 3 a day because the price of fresh bananas was killing me when I was eating 3 for every meal!). And (fortunately) summer is coming up so my constant love of tomato’s will be satisfied by a simple walk out to my garden (can’t wait!). I’ve cut out all refined & processed sugar (with the exception of organic molasses & pure maple sugar) & have substituted it with fresh honey, this was a big obstacle at first because I was NOT a fan of honey…now I love it! My favorite way to eat bananas has become sliced with some honey & cinnamon…can’t. get.enough!

The results: I’ve lost just shy of 50#’s, although some of that weight (5-10#’s), fell off between Sept-Dec. when I gradually started weeding out unhealthy items from my diet before my full-fledged commitment in Jan. Even though I (unfortunately) have not noticed much of a difference in my skin tone, (but I’m also very self-conscious about my skin & very critical), I’ve had other people point out that my skin looks clearer & not as red, however, I’m not pleased with the results. I’ve got severe allergies (big time!) but they don’t seem to be as bad this year as in past years. I wish I could say that I’m not experiencing them at all (since it is spring—pollen & hay count is up, most dreaded time of the year), but I haven’t had any need to take my prescription allergy pills so far at all this year. I’ve also added an extra 1/8 of a mile (mostly uphill) to my hiking course & have started taking yoga classes. And for the first time in years, I can feel muscles starting to build & can see my skin tightening & toning up. This almost makes me want to cry because I LOVE the outdoors (I, literally, cannot stand being indoors for to long) & now I have the energy to enjoy even more hours of sunshiny days.

I truly believe that positive vibes & energy is contagious. I’ve had so many friends & family that have begun to make healthier eating decisions in their own lives & its great to have a network of support for each other. I’ve also had to realize that I can’t beat myself up when I slip, if I want a cookie (or a box) that doesn’t mean I’m a failure & have to stay stuck inhorse1 that mindset & give up. When the holidays came around, I ate what I wanted to (and I even had some macaroni salad that had tuna fish in it, my first dose of meat all year)…but the day after Easter, I got back on track. I remember the very first time I fell of a horse, I mean really fell where I got hurt, & my aunt made me get right back on (didn’t want to & fought her on it), but I did and 20years later I still have that passion for horses & riding that could’ve ended from one bad fall.

Through this experience of eating healthier, feeling better, taking care of ME…I’m finding out how much I’m worth it. That God doesn’t make mistakes, HE created ME in his image & He’s left me the responsibility of taking care of His most prized possession & the vessel that He’s chosen to fulfill a piece of His greater plan….ME.



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Random Questions: What is your ultimate-all-time-most-embarrassing moment EVER?

*humbling myself before you people by revealing the utmost*

I don’t embarrass easily. When you’re as clumsy as I am & often find yourself in intimate positions with the floor, you tend to have a tough skin

(trying to take a short-cut by jumping a fence to get to the bar; early 20’s, working at Cedar Point, only to have your belt catch on the top of the fence  as you’re swinging your leg over. Instead of  your jeans gracefully ripping thus allowing you to fall to the ground, they decide to hold together & your body just hangs on the fence. Naturally it would be a time when a group of police officer’s were standing in the parking lot & notice this, therefore, never letting you live it down since you knew 3 out of the 4 in the group. Praise the Lord it was in my skinnier days & when my pants finally did rip & I was standing there mostly bare-assed it was a little less embarrassing. Of course the girlfriends I were with decided it was more beneficial to point & laugh then help me out).

Most situation’s I can shrug off; considering I have little to zero mouth-filter (pretty much if I’m thinking it, I’m saying it) this can result in being completely inappropriate at times

(attending a fellow co-worker’s mother’s funeral & when asked by your boss how the day went, replying, “We were so dead today, it was pathetic”, while standing in front of casket…smooth!).

Every job I’ve ever worked I’ve left a trail of embarrassing stories (“I’ve got the cat-bags!” *memory for Heidi H.*) & my current job is no exception. While I will refrain from ratting out a co-worker who told one of the most hilarious embarrassing stories I’ve ever heard  (tears it was so funny! & kudos to his wife who actually decided to marry this man despite this incident. Oh’ the things you learn while clearing away branches!),  I figured its been a rough week for many of us & we all could use a little humor to make tomorrow better!

I’ve got two all-time embarrassing moments in my book of life. Some have heard these stories before (and no doubt rolled their eyes & thought, “you’re such an idiot). So please laugh at my expense, I’m sure each of you have a closet full of your own embarrassing moments. Smile


1.- I was registering for my final quarter of college. Normally you have to register with your department head when you’re in the homestretch for graduation, however, she was busy & I was on a time crunch. She asked if I wanted to register with the academic advisor for the law department instead (I was in the veterinary program), of course I said “Yes”…everybody in the school knew who this young stud was; recently hired & not a whole lot older than we were, and did I mention, Super H.O.T! So we’re in his office & after registering for classes we were just sitting there talking, he handed me my registration papers & I tapped them on the desk to straighten. At that moment one slipped out of the pile, fell to the floor & when I bent down to pick it up….totally farted, really loud! Wanted to die! caution1I was hoping he would think it was the chair (even though I was sitting in a cushioned, wing-back), but I’m pretty sure he knew the truth. The only thought I can clearly remember thinking at that time was, “please don’t smell”….terrible, terrible memory. I wanted to run out of the room in utter-shame, however, my pride wouldn’t allow it & I simply stood up, shook his hand (and I swear he was trying not to laugh) & walked out of the office. Bet your ass I avoided him the rest of the year & I don’t even want to know how many times that story got re-told to his buddies out at the bar. When I stormed into my department head’s office & told her my story, expecting sympathy (and I, naturally, blamed her for this gas-ident) I was received with violent, uncontrollable laughter. Thanks for all the support..appreciate it!

2.-The second all-time embarrassing story (don’t ask me to pick which is the top, both are up there) happened, coincidentally, around the same time as the “farting-hot guy” incident. At that time, I had been dealing with cysts on my ovaries, so I became a frequent visitor at the gynecologists while we went through the procedures to reduce & eliminate the cysts. At one of the appointments I was having an internal ultrasound done, the camera they use looks like a vibrator & is (obviously) inserted the same way one of those would be (I’m sure ya’ll can figure out the logistics on your own). So I’m laying on the table, spread-eagle in the stirrups, & my doctor asks if I mind if her intern does the procedure. As any girl knows, you don’t have much dignity when your at the gyno so I said I didn’t care. A second later this young doctor comes in, male & good-looking (do you notice that most embarrassing stories happen around those of the opposite sex?) & around my age. I instantly knew this was going to be bad. He introduced himself & then proceeded to stand next to my doctor, between my legs. She’s explaining my case to him & explaining the equipment & the whole time I’m thinking, “oh my gosh, I want out of here.” Now I should warn you, when I’m uncomfortable, I’m in an awkward situation, when I’m nervous…my natural instinct is to try to lighten the mood by being funny. I could tell he was nervous, I was embarrassed & my doctor was oblivious to all of this…so after he lubed up the camera & asked if I was “ready”, what I should’ve done was say yes (and in my head it was telling me to shut-up & stick with that), however, what came out of my mouth was, “well, most guys buy me a drink first.”….silence, silence, silence…I instantly felt my face turn bright red & could feel it travel down the length of my body. Between my legs I can see my doctor looking at me over the top of her glasses & in a very authoritative voice goes, “really, Carey?”…silence, silence, silence.rimglasses1 His face was red, mine was red, & my brain was saying, “you’re such an idiot. Why do you even talk?”


So there ya have it!!! My most embarrassing stories! That’s the great thing about being human, being alive, & having funny stories; laughter is one of the best things about life & proves that nobody is immune to being an idiot once in awhile. Don’t take life to serious & laugh it up whenever you can!



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