Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cara Box Reveal!!

Cara Box

This month was my second time participating in the 
Cara Box gift exchange, hosted by Kaitlyn over at Wifessionals.

I was matched with two lovely ladies and our goal was to get to know
each other and send our Cara Boxes out with items that have to do with this months theme.
This months theme was 'regional' so after getting to know my new blogger friends,
I started thinking of local things from around town and around Connecticut that I could send off.

Both times I've done the Cara Box exchange I've been partnered with some really awesome girls
This month I met Laura (I sent to her) and Amberly (she sent to me).

I always feel like Connecticut and New England have a very specific feel.  
You just can't get that feeling of crisp fall air, old colonial houses, clam chowder, 
and fresh ocean air anywhere else in the country.
I've lived here all my life, so I was super excited to be getting
Amerbly's box all the way from Utah!

We had some lovely email chats getting to know each other and
she did a great job sending me some really awesome stuff.
Although, we both agreed that this months theme was more 
challenging that we originally thought!

Here's what she sent me:

First she sent me some beautiful lavender for my garden!

And she sent me this awesome Stephen's hot chocolate.  
It's pretty funny she sent this actually because we used this exact brand of
hot apple cider mix for our wedding favors!
I had no idea it was made in Utah.

A 'hope' rock. 
To symbolize hope after Sandy Hook.
And we also may have had this little joke about me growing rocks in my garden.

And finally The Piano Guys CD!
Because I play the piano.
I've seen their videos before and these guys are insane!
Again, never new they were from Utah.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Music Heals All.

Hey Guys!
I know I've been a bit of a slacker recently and 
I missed 4 days of the blog everyday in May challenge.
{insert sad face here}

I really am a bit disappointed in myself because 
I really did want to blog EVERYday in May and
clearly I haven't done it.

But if there's one thing I've learned it's that sometimes
life just gets in the way. And that's basically what happened this weekend.
So here I am. Ready to finish this thing out strong!

Also, don't miss my guest post today over at 
Something About You & Me

And make sure you check out Cheltee's blog while you're over there.
It's awesome and I always love reading her posts!

Today's topic is

five songs or pieces of music that speak to you

This was definitely tough.
Songs that speak to me, huh?
I'm not entirely sure what that means but I'll pick
a few of my favorites and that's gonna have to do.

one. Fix You / / Coldplay

I tried to find the original video for this and I failed miserably.
It's a beautiful songs and I think it'll always be a favorite.
It's been my husband and my's song since just about the minute we started dating. 
I just love it :)

two. Shake it Out / / Glee Cast


I'll admit it.
I was an avid Glee watcher for a while,
and then the show just got so totally out of control 
and ridiculous I had to cut it off
 (sorry if you're a glee fan, that's just the way I feel).
However, I thought they did a fantastic job with this song
and I thought the context they used it in was perfect.
That's why I included a clip from the actual show.
Because I thought it was really moving.

three. Fighter / / Gym Class Heroes


This was one of those songs I really didn't like all that much at first,
but then I saw it in a movie trailer and it just got me.
You ever have moments like that?
I can always listen to this song when I'm feeling down
and usually by the end I'm totally pumped up. Love it.

four. Whatever It Is / / Zac Brown Band


No explanation for this one. 
Just love it!

That's all I got.
I know it's not five songs but theses were the ones I came up with after a lot of thought.
So these are the ones I'm sticking with.

Which songs are your favorite?

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Nasty Habits.

Day 24 of the blog everyday in May challenge!

Your top 3 worst traits
I worry about everything.

I hate the fact that I am constantly in a state of worry. And yet, I can't seem to get myself to relax either.
I worry that while I'm at work something will happen to our house and the dogs will be in danger.
I worry at night when I'm falling asleep that I hear something and we're all in danger.
I worry about work, and that meeting I have tomorrow, and how I'm going to get everything done that I need to get done in the next few days. Worry, worry, worry. And I hate it. But I'm working on it!

I'm not very good at speaking my feelings.

Whether they are happy feelings or bad feelings, sometimes I just don't feel like saying it.
This can really be a problem with my husband or family and friends. 
For example, I might feel overly happy with my relationship. You know, 
sometimes you just get those swells of emotion and you're totally overwhelmed by 
how much you love someone? Most people would view that as a good opportunity to tell their spouse that. Me? I bottle it up inside and just don't say anything. I'm not sure why I do that 
but it's a really bad trait.

I don't take well to change.

And who really does? But I mean I REALLY don't take well to it. 
I usually get so ridiculously stressed out and end up having a complete mental breakdown,
which my poor husband has the job of pulling me out of. I think I've gotten a little bit better about this over the past couple of years. Mostly thanks to my husband.

Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget (good or bad)

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Life's Little Lessons.

Hello beautiful people!
It's day 23 of the challenge.
I know I didn't blog yesterday but quite honestly,
I just didn't feel like ranting about anything.

I'm not sure it's a bad thing...
that I chose not to rant.
Sure, there were things I could have
picked that really bother me and sure, 
maybe it would have been nice to rant.
But I dunno, I just wasn't in a ranting mood.
So I didn't.

Today we're discussing..

things you've learned that school won't teach you

Oh wow.

I learned a lot in school.
You know, all the really necessary stuff
like, how to find the symbolism in
Lord of the Flies, how to find the tangent of z,
how to find the absolute value,
and of course, all the kings and queens of
England for the past 4,000 years.

Stuff I really get to apply in my everyday life.
But seriously, looking back at high school it's amazing how little I actually knew.
Here's some of the things I think are the most important learnings of my adult life.

Being a bad communicator can be your downfall.

I've pretty much learned this through my relationship with my husband.
I've talked a lot on this blog about how he came along and saved me from my
awful communication skills. Now I see how much that could have screwed me up
in my everyday life. Not just in my relationship.
If people don't know how you're feeling or what you want to say,
well, then they definitely can't help you out.

Your pets can make your day. Everyday.

Ok, maybe I've know this one for a long time,
but I definitely didn't learn it in school.

EVERYONE will never like you.

Did that make sense?
I spent my entire high school career worried
about what other people were thinking about me.
Even now, I'm a huge people pleaser.
But I think I've come to grips with the fact that not
everyone is going to like me. And that's ok.

Just because you're good at something doesn't mean it's always easy.

I'm still learning this one.
It's hard to understand that just because you have a talent
for something doesn't mean that it's going to be easy.
Some days it'll come easy, others it will be like pulling teeth.
It's just the natural ebb and flow of life.
Easy, then hard, easy, then hard.

Here's a great example of this life lesson.
I think I'm a pretty decent writer.
I enjoy writing. But it doesn't always come easy.
I ALWAYS have difficulty ending my posts.
Do I do a brief summary?
Do I just cut it off?
Do I sign it like a letter?
Ugh! I just never know.

So for today I'll just say,
Until tomorrow!
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Top Ten.

Day 21.

a list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

Today we're talking about our favorite posts in our archives!
I'm pretty excited about this one.
It was fun to look back and see all the stuff I've written
over the past few months.

Since I only have about 100 posts, this challenge was not all that hard.
I can't imagine going through and picking favorites from
hundreds and hundreds of posts, like some more experienced bloggers.
I managed to come up with a top ten of my absolute favorites!

It's One of THOSE Days.

Every teacher has one of THOSE days.
The days where we just want to rip our hair out
and run screaming from the building.
Ok, maybe it never actually gets that bad!
In this post I talk about my favorite classroom 
management technique I use and the miracles it works 
on some of my kids.

A Day of Sorrow.

Very shortly after I began blogging,
the tragedy at Sandy Hook occurred.
It was hard for me to write about it but I
just knew, at the time, that I had to.
Although it's sad, I love this post.
It shows the courage and bravery of Newtown 
on a truly awful day.

Jury Duty Savior

Everyone needs a little chocolate fix every now and then.
And man, do I have the chocolate fix for you!
This recipe even made jury duty bearable for me.
And that's saying something.

The Honeymoon Period - Fact or Fiction

I just like this post.
I don't really know why.
It's just something I still think about all the time.
Who says the honeymoon period needs to end?

Moving Forward.

If writing about Sandy Hook the day that it happened was hard,
I had no idea what I was in for when it came to returning to blogging.
I took a long and very needed hiatus
and this post really shows how I was able to move forward.

Happy, Happy Birthday!

The Little Man.

You know I just love to show off my puppies!

The Paper Crane Project.

This is probably my number one, all time, 
favorite post.  Not because of the post itself,
but because of the project it displays.
This was definitely my favorite DIY project I've ever done!

So You Wanna Start a Compost Bin.

This is just a fun one that shows off a favorite hobby of mine!

I'm Really Sorry, Love Sirius

I love this post because it is so, so, so true.
Every word of it describes my dog.

So those are my favorites!
Hope you enjoyed this little reminiscing post!

Tomorrow - 
Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel. (a pet peeve, a current event, a controversial topic, something your husband or roommate or neighbor or boss does that really ticks you off)

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Thoughts and Prayers.


I'd like to take a second now to say my thoughts and prayers go out to
the people of Oklahoma.  I can't imagine enduring the devastation
they are dealing with right now.  

I can't relate at all. 
I've never had to deal with something like that.
But after looking at all the news footage and photos,
I can't even imagine what those people must be feeling right now.

I just hope they know that the entire nation is praying for them.
And that we are all sending them all of our good thoughts.

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Monday, May 20, 2013


Good evening my blog loves!
It's day 20!!

Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now.

I know that many of you read this post the other day,
about my 'lot in life' and I told everyone that I was ridiculously happy
and I wouldn't change a thing.

That's still true.
I love everything about my life and I wouldn't change it.
But there is a little something I've been struggling with recently
and I've been looking for a good way to bring it up on this here blog.
This seems like a pretty good opportunity to me.
And as you're reading, don't get me wrong.
I don't want to complain.

I'm posting this for two reasons.

one. In the hopes that someone out there has experienced what I'm going through and can help.

two. In the hopes that my experience can help someone else.

And if neither of those things are accomplished through this post then oh well!
At least I was open and honest with something I've been struggling with for months.

It all started wayyy back in October. Right after my wedding.
Well, it actually started way before that but it came on very gradually.
It got pretty bad in October so I always think of that as the starting point.

Around that time I started feeling this awful ache in my leg muscles.
It wasn't like my muscles were sore from working out.
It actually felt like I had bruises all up and down my thighs.
So if I ran my fingers up my thighs it would hurt.

Over the past seven months it's spread to pretty much my whole body.
First my arms and then my back and then my sides and stomach.
Some days are just awful.

I've had to readjust my entire wardrobe.
I can't wear nylons or leggings.
I've changed the way I do certain things.
Like, when I carry a bunch of books I can't lean it on my hip
or it hurts. Or when I'm kneeling I can't lean my elbow on my thigh.
And the worst thing of all...
I can't wear skinny jeans. On most days.

Obviously I've been working with my doctor to figure out what the heck is going on.
There have been times where I've totally broken down with my husband
and thought for sure I had some terminal illness.
Total panic attacks.
And then there have been days where I'm so confident I will get past this and move on.
They'll figure it out and I'll be cured.

But alas, it's seven months later and I have no answers.
They thought it was rheumatoid arthritis but that was a negative.
They thought it was my thyroid. Negative.
They thought it was Lyme. Multiple times. Negative.

I've had sooooooo much blood work done and my doctor keeps telling me that
by just looking at my blood work I look fantastic. It's perfect.
But I don't feel perfect.

What I've ended up with is either Fibromyalgia or Celiacs disease.
My doctors tell me there's no way it's Celiacs because my tests came back negative
and I don't have that many GI problems. I've read otherwise. As I hear it,
the blood tests are highly inaccurate and a lot of people who have celiacs never even have GI issues!

So here's where I'm at now.
It might be either of these diseases or neither of them.
I'm praying it's one or the other just so I can have an answer!
For Fibromyalgia the treatment is usually an antidepressant.
My doctor prescribed me Cymbalta.
This is a serious drug and after reading all the side 
effects I know you don't screw around with it.

Although my doctors think it's unlikely I've decided to cut out gluten
before taking the Cymbalta. I'd rather go natural and find out it doesn't work
then start taking such a serious medication just to find out I don't need it.

I've been gluten free for just over three weeks now.
We've also cut out dairy because we learned that the Casein in it looks so similar
to gluten that somebody's body with Celiacs might attack the Casein too.

Let me tell you, this has NOT been easy.
Gluten free was fine. But Dairy?!
Do you know how many things have dairy in them?!
And I'm a vegetarian.

It's been tough but if it solves the problem, then hey, I'm all for it.
I know that the benchmark for gluten free is six months so I'm not expecting miracles overnight.
So far I haven't really felt a difference. I have good days and bad days just like I always have.

I'd love to hear from anyone with celiacs or fibromyalgia or who has had a similar experience to mine.
My ears are open and I am definitely taking tips and advice!
Cuz the sooner I can feel better and move past this, the better!
In the meantime, I'm just trying to live my life like nothing is wrong and just enjoy every second!

Tomorrow, Day 21 -
A list of links to your favorite posts in your archives

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Love These Ladies!

Day 19

five of your favorite blogs and what you love about them

Ok, ok. I know!
I missed a day.
But seriously, and I know this is really sad, but
I just couldn't think of a good story from my childhood
that I really wanted to share with everyone.

So we'll just say I played hooky yesterday.
I'm finally sitting down on this
absolutely disgusting Spring day.
Sorry, it's early Summer. I said I was done with Spring and I meant it.

But regardless of the weather I had a pretty great day.
Went out and got a lot of gardening done,
even though it was raining most of the day


I got this awesome nail polish at a local event!!

OPI actually made it and donated it to Sandy Hook Promise.
So OPI is not benefitting from it at all.
All proceeds go directly to Sandy Hook Promise which is just awesome!
I will be doing my nails the minute I finish this post.
and after I eat dinner. Hey, a girl's gotta eat.

So, did this blogger challenge really just ask a bunch of bloggers
to pick only five blogs to put on our lists?
I'm not sure that's even possible!

However, I have compiled a list of the ladies
whose blogs I read every single day.
No matter how busy I am.
No matter what else I need to get done.
I always check these blogs out.

Forever Newly Wedded

Karla is a great blogger.  She always has a funny story to tell
or great advice for her fellow newlyweds.  I love how much Karla
cares about her readers.  I think she always makes them feel welcome on her blog!

Kayla is another fantastic blogger.  
Just by reading her blog you can tell how much she puts into it
and how much she cares about it.  I always love reading her posts!

Veronica's blog was one of the very first blogs I stumbled up
when I started my adventure into the blogoshpere. 
She is so positive and sweet and caring.
You can't help but love to read about her life!

Something about you and me

Cheltee's blog is really great! 
I think she has a hilarious sense of humor.
Her posts always make me laugh and she keeps
everything lighthearted and fun.

I must have a thing for lighthearted and fun blogs,
because Kelly is another blogger who knows how to keep things simple.
I look forward to reading her posts everyday!

So those are my top, top, top five blogs.
I could throw out a bunch of other blogs I love to follow 
but I think I'll save those for another "favorites"
post in the future.  It's nice to promote other bloggers
because they're all doing such a great job
and I love the fact that I have gotten to know them!

Tomorrow - Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

My Fav & My 100th Post!!!!

Day 17!!
a favorite picture of yourself and why

You know, I was amazed to find out that I didn't have to think about this one at all.
It was amazingly simple to pick my favorite picture of myself.
Maybe that's because, let's face it, there's only so many pictures
of myself I really think are great.
Whatever the reason, this is the picture that popped into my head.

I like this photo for a few reasons.

one. I think everyone looks great in this picture.  
You know how sometimes there's a picture where everyone
just looks awful, and like, one person looks good 
and that person is like, 'wow this is a great photo!'
When in reality, it's just a great photo of them. 
I think our whole little family looks great here and that makes me happy!

two. This was our first married christmas,
so I know I'll always look back at it and know that it was
a great time in my life.

three. IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!
I love, love, LOVE Christmas.
It's my favorite holiday and so just looking at this 
picture makes me happy and makes me wish it was December right now.

And, on a completely separate and kinda random note, this is my 100th post!!!
I've not only been blogging for over 6 months, but I've written
100, count 'em,

100 posts!!

Ok, I'm done with my mini celebration now!

Tomorrow we're talking about - 
Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.

Oh man, I may have to ask my family for some help with this one!
Oh wait, I think I just got one!
Until tomorrow, blogoshpere!

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Lot in Life

It's day 16!

something difficult about your 'lot in life' and how you're working to overcome it

Everyone thinks that they have so many problems in life,
and I know that many of us really do.  Some have worse problems than others.
Some problems are completely out of our hands while others are totally controllable.
But in any case, problems are always there.
It's part of life.

I've been extremely lucky in my life.
I grew up in a great family,
great town,
great friends.

I've had very little heartbreak in my life
and I know I'm extremely lucky.

It's funny to look back on your high school years
and to think about all the problems you thought you had,
and then you grow up and realize it's not so bad.
Or maybe it's just recently that I realize things aren't so bad.

I don't want to complain.
I know there are people out there who are in such awful situations,
right at this very moment. Just struggling to make it to tomorrow.
I know my life is great and I'm thankful for it.

I suppose if I have to choose one thing that I consider to be a problem

You know what?
Scratch that.

I'm happy with my life.
There are probably some things I could pick out that maybe would make my life a little easier,
or a little better even. But all those things, those struggles, have made me who I am today.
So I don't think I'd change them even if I had the chance.
Because I'm happy with me.
And I'm happy with where my life is.
Ecstatic about my life, actually.

So I'm going to choose not to complain about anything.
I'm just all around happy :)
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Exciting Stuff!

Hey all!!

Just wanted to take a second to announce the second exciting giveaway I will be participating in this month. Not that I haven't been on the blogger train all along, but I've gone a little out of control this month. Three giveaways, the Cara Box exchange coming up next week, and a couple of guest posts coming later in the month!  I've gone blogger crazy and I love it!

Anyway, this second giveaway comes to you directly from;

Cheltee at Something About You and Me

Cheltee's blog was one of the very first that I started following,
and it became one of my favorites very fast.  She has such a great sense 
of humor and you can just tell how much effort she puts into her blog.
She's always on my daily read list!

So, if by some chance you don't already follow her,
go check out her blog!  It's awesome!

Here's the info about the giveaway she's sponsoring.
There's some great stuff available here and entering is super easy!

And don't forget to go check out the blogs of
all the lovely ladies who made this possible!

They're all fantastic bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'll be back later today for the blog everyday in May challenge 
day 16!  But for now, I'm going out to enjoy the beautiful
Connecticut early summer (that's right, I've officially decided that 
Spring is done and Summer should be here now) day!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Day In The Life...

of me?

I'm afraid this is going to be a pretty boring post.
For one thing, I'm a teacher, so no matter what my intentions
in terms of taking pictures throughout my day it's probably just not going to happen.

For another thing,
my life just isn't that exciting.
If you've ever read


post, you probably already know that I have a bit of OCD
and that there are several routines I do daily.
And if I don't do them the world would end.

My husband tells me this isn't true but I'm certainly not going to test it,
and also, I'm pretty sure he's wrong.

So here's my day, including world saving routines.

6:45 am

wake up, trip over Sirius trying to get out of the room,
complete morning bathroom routine.

6:50 am

catch just enough of the local news to see a recap of the weather
and then enjoy GMA at 7. 

At this point I have an entire getting ready routine which includes getting dressed,
doing hair and makeup and putting things in my school bag in a very specific pattern.

7:15 am

let dogs out, 
yell at dogs for barking at the neighbor walking to the bus,
bring dogs in,
complete 'before I leave mental checklist',
 and leave.

8:05 am

Arrive at work

At this point my day turns into pure chaos.
No matter how carefully I plan it I always end up completely deviating from
my original schedule. There's no way to describe a typical day because there's no such thing as a typical day.  Everyday is different which is pretty OK with me.

3:05 pm

Leave work and rock out to awesome music

4:00 pm 

arrive home and relax.

I really don't really have a specific routine for my afternoon.  I always take a shower,
watch some shows, do some blogging, maybe a little DIYing, eat dinner and just have a 
nice evening with the hubs.   Around 10 o'clock I start the bedtime routine, which includes making everything for the next morning like lunch, coffee, etc. and hopefully, on a good night I'm out by 11.

So that's it.  Pretty boring right?
I told you it wouldn't be anything terribly exciting
but at least now you've had a glimpse into a regular day with me.
You know, looking back on this post, maybe Jeremie has a point about
some of my routines?  Hmmm.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happiness Is.....

Blogger challenge day 14!!!

ten things that make you really happy

There's a lot that makes me happy in this world.  It actually took me a little while to make my top ten list. Have you ever tried to fit the things that make you happy into ONE top ten? Cuz it really just isn't that easy.  But, nonetheless, I have done it.  And here it is....


My Husband


My family


 My dogs


My awesome friends.


My job and the students I work with





  Anything outdoors.


 DIYing it up.



So that's it.  The top ten things that make me happy no matter what is going on.
Happy Tuesday!
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Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm Really Sorry, Love Sirius.

I was a slacker yesterday.
And I have no legitimate excuse except that I was just plain lazy.
I started my post. I got tired. I went to bed.

So it's gonna be a double post kinda day.
First, in honor of the blog everyday in May challenge 
day 13, we're having a guest post of sorts.

issue a public apology to anyone

Well this apology is coming straight to me, via this blog
from Sirius. Because god knows he has some apologizing to do!
Just a little FYI - I thought I was being creative with this post,
my husband tells me I'm being a big cheater.

Dear Mom,

I'm really sorry I'm so ridiculously cute.  I know that sometimes my overwhelming handsomeness actually gets in the way of you saying 'no' when I do something "bad" (I put that in quotations because I'm pretty sure it actually never happens), getting ready in time in the morning because you're snuggling with me, or when you're paying attention to Orion and you just forget about him because you're overcome by my cuteness (it's never because I just butt in and get right in the middle of your snuggle time with him). So, I'm really sorry that I apparently have fantastic genes and that you're stunned by my beauty everyday.

(I know I never get in the way when you're trying to do stuff with Orion.)


I'm really sorry that everything falls off the table when I walk by.  I know it's not my fault because it's not like I ever touch anything (especially not with my ginormous butt) but I know it's frustrating for you when things just fly off the table as I walk by.  I especially never, ever, EVER touch dad's xbox remote and somehow it just always follows me right off the table. I'm thinking my coat actually has magnet powers.  You should look into that - maybe you could make some money to buy me more cookies.

I'm really sorry that I'm the best guard dog EVER. You see, where other guard dogs only alarm you when someone is actually at the front door, I alarm you whenever there's any noise so that you can better assess the situation.  Like, the washing machine making a weird noise downstairs, or when the wind make it sound like there's someone outside, or when Orion breathes heavy, making me think that he's seen something out the window, or when a doorbell rings on the TV.  Those are all times when other dogs would just sit back and let YOU find out whether it was a serious situation or not.  But not me.  I'm there for you, mom!

I'm really sorry that I panic every time you get out of the car. Even when we pull into the grocery store or a restaurant it just seems like you're never going to come back.  I mean, how am I supposed to know what happens in those buildings?! It seems pretty likely that it's something terrible and you're walking right into a bad situation.  So, I have to whine and alert you to the danger ahead.

I'm really sorry that sometimes I get really bad tunnel vision when I'm herding or chasing and I knock people or other animals over.  That's pretty much all I have to say about that one.  Just, sorry.


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