Tossing the clutter to have a more meaningful life!

I’ll Hand You The Gun You Pull The Trigger

I just watched the video in this post and I have to be honest – I’m seriously thinking about changing my eating habits now. The videos that this speaker shows brought tears to my eyes and make me sick.

I'll Hand You The Gun You Pull The Trigger.

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Conquer Clutter Infographic

Conquer Clutter Infographic.


Crazy weather and struggles with the minimalist journey

Wow – what a busy week! I attended a career fair for my company at Fort Drum in NY, close to the Canadian border. Believe it or not – it was warmer near the Canadian border than it is in NC. What’s the deal with the weather? Seems more like global cooling than global warming.

The Florida Keys are sounding better as each cold minute passes by. 
Would you believe that it’s pretty difficult scheduling a sailing course / sailing charter a month in advance? I’ve tried every company I can find online in the Keys over the past few weeks and same answer – they are all booked.  
As many of you know, my goal is to eventually be on a sailboat somewhere in the islands, much like my blogging pal, Captain Fritter at  I was hoping to be able to schedule ASA lessons for my vacation next month, but so far it looks like that may be a long shot. Well – maybe next time around.
Until then, I still stay on target for the goal.  
As my friend Tammy at says, good grief Charlie Brown! 
This minimalism thing is starting to get tough now – I’m starting to get to things that are tough to part with. The past couple of weeks I have not donated as many things as I had hoped. I guess everyone goes through this at some point and when it gets to this point, I think my best bet is to take my time and do what feels right. I am not giving up, just taking it a littler slower.
To all the others out there who started a minimalist lifestyle, what was the most difficult part of the journey for you?

I’m proud to announce…

The trip to Costco was a success this morning! I managed to get in and out very quickly, without stopping by at any of of the tasting tables! Only items on my list made it out with me!  

Take that, consumerism beast! 
On my way towards my goals and it feels GREAT! 
Victorious Island Dreamin’ Julia 🙂
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Security on your Blog…

For all of the other bloggers out there, be sure to check your security settings on your blog. Apparently, there are people out there hacking into wordpress accounts, gaining access to their computers. You will find more at the Captain’s blog site

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My dog Lucky

WARNING – LONG post all about my best friend and my dog.  If you are not a dog lover – skip this one!

My dog is truly my best friend.  Lucky has been here for me through some tough times and always knows just how to cheer me up. 

Many people, after hearing Lucky’s name think Lucky is a “he”.  Not so – this Lucky dog is a “she”.  Lucky is commonly a male dog name, but it’s the only name my little dog knows, so Lucky she is!


I found and rescued Lucky at the animal shelter in February 2008.  She was 7 years old at the time, already house broken, and knew how to sit and shake.  Poor Lucky went through a tough time before I picked her up at the shelter. 

It appears her original owners did care about her, as they left a hand written note about Lucky – the type of food she liked, that she never had an accident in the house, that she loved people and was a very good dog over all.  They made note that if no one took Lucky, they wanted to take her back before being put to sleep.  Lucky kept running away and the owner was unable to take care of her anymore. 

Now – this is where it gets rough for Lucky dog.  After her original owner dropped her off at the shelter, someone else picked her up and took her home.  That person had another dog.  Lucky does not play well with other dogs – this is because she is a Shiba Inu mix and that breed of dog has a very strong predator / prey instinct.  While Lucky is very timid and sweet with people, she thinks she is a ferocious Rottweiler when she meets another dog, regardless the size of the other dog. 

The person that took Lucky home had to take her back to the shelter because she didn’t get along with her other dog.  That’s when I came along and figured that since she was everything that would work for me at the time (housebroken, older and calmer, etc), I would give her a chance and take her on home with me.

Once I got Lucky home, I noticed she was very skittish.  Every time I went to pet her, she seemed to think I was going to hit her and she would run into a corner and hide, shaking.  I truly do not believe this was from any treatment from her original owners, but I think the first owner who took her from the shelter must have hollered and hit her to try and get her to stop acting mean to the other dog.  Poor Lucky was scared to death and traumatized. 

She made no noises or sounds for the first several months I had her.  Then, one day, when the doorbell rang, she barked a couple of times and growled.  To this day, the only time she barks is if the doorbell rings or she hears a car door close outside in front of the house. 

She occasionally makes a strange squeaky toy sound when she gets excited – that was a good long laugh when she first made that noise.  It honestly sounds like a squeaky toy.  Again, another trait of the Shiba Inu.

Also, another trait of the Shiba Inu is a horrifying sound which is a called the “Shiba Scream”.  You Tube it – you will see what I mean.  I have only heard this sound from Lucky two times since I’ve had her.  Both were times when her leg was hurt.  It sounded like a child screaming and was quite terrifying for me. 

Now, earlier I mentioned that her original owner said that she kept running away.  I have heard people say that dogs only do that when they are not happy.  I strongly disagree.  Lucky has gotten away from me twice – you give her a chance – a second of opportunity and she BOLTS.  You can call her, whistle, try to get her to come back for a treat and she will have none of that.  Once again, another trait of the Shiba Inu.  Run, run, run and total ignoring of what anyone is saying to them!  I quickly learned that Lucky is a leash dog and always will be.  Even letting her out in a fenced in back yard is risky – she is somewhat of an escape artist and if there is a way out, she will find it!

Other than those slightly annoying traits, Lucky is really a great dog.  I have taught her how to beg and play dead.  Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  She truly is such a sweet dog and loves to be petted all the time.  When you aren’t petting her, she lies down and goes to sleep (snoring very loudly). 

She’s been sleeping a lot lately and has slowed down quite a bit as she’s gotten older.  She isn’t able to go on long walks anymore and recently has been having trouble getting up.  For this reason, I was not able to take my Lucky dog with me this weekend when I went to visit my parents at their beach house for my Dad’s birthday.  Their house is on pilings and has very tall steps to get inside.  I do not think Lucky can handle the steps anymore and she doesn’t like for anyone to pick her up and carry her (she weighs about 36 lbs). 

I boarded Lucky at the vet Saturday morning and I go to pick her up tomorrow on my lunch break. I’m looking forward to it, because I’ve been very lonely without her. 

Because Lucky is such a big and important part of my life, I wanted to share her with you by introducing you.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Lucky below.  


This is from Christmas.  Lucky was not too enthused about the reindeer antlers and did not want to lift her head off the floor.  She slowly raised her head after some coaxing for a quick picture, then was very glad to take the antlers off!


Lucky caught in the middle of a yawn out on the patio last summer.


Sweet dog.


Thanks for reading – sorry I ranted on and on about Lucky.  I hope you enjoyed the pictures and that they brought a small smile to your face. 




The ManateeFritters App is now available on iTunes…

Great app to a really cool blog – be sure and check it out!

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Random Rant: Tired of the poop!

What is the deal with people refusing to pick up after their dog?

I live in a small neighborhood where the houses are extremely close together. Today, as I’m on my daily walk with Lucky, I look to the side, and there it is. A HUGE pile of “you know what”, right in front of someone’s front door and next to the sidewalk. It can be smelled by anyone within a 5 foot area. The flies are loving it, and of course Lucky wants to go check it out. Not only is the sight and smell atrocious, but it’s not healthy for other animals.

Now, keep in mind this neighborhood has an HOA with rules stating that if your pet poops, you scoop. I respect this rule because I understand someone not wanting to step outside and right into a mushy, smelly present on their lawn. I would prefer not to receive those lawn gifts either.  However, not all people have these feelings. It seems that some just don’t really care if there is a sewage depository on their small front lawn. Believe it or not, the HOA poop or scoop rule tends to make them even more determined to forgo the scooping and force everyone else to walk past the piles of smelly “you know what”.

So, my question again: What is the deal with people refusing to pick up after their dog?


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