Dear Cat: Don’t let Grumpy Cat be a lesson to you.

IMG_7968There’s only been one thing on everybody’s mind this week: Cats. Any other week we’d be talking about what happened at the VMAs. But this is sadly our culture now. Famous internet cats were paraded around Minneapolis this week, offering up their bodies to us as a way to satisfy our alarming and excessive need to see cats all the time.

Well, I have a cat, and she’s very special to me, and I wouldn’t want her to grow up thinking that to be a cat just means one thing. I want her to see the value in herself and know that she is loved through and through by her dad and me, regardless of whether she has her own Facebook page. She’s too young to understand this now, but one day I’ll read it to her. She might not know who Grumpy Cat is by then, but the message will still be as relevant as it is today.

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To my kitty,

You are a beautiful and curious individual. I see you looking around constantly in awe of the world around you with bright eyes and I know great things are ahead for you. But the media would want you to think that to have any value to the world, you need only one quality, and that is being cute.

Grumpy Cat jetsets all around the country, doing photo-ops and being passed around by strangers, and you might start to think that this is the only way you will ever get attention or love. The media has portrayed cats as nothing but clueless animals with big eyes and their tongues wagging out. They want one thing: attention. And they get it.

They shouldn’t.

The love they get is a false love. You don’t see them away from the spotlight, lounging on a king size bed, sleeping 14 hours a day. It’s a sad and pitiful life they live out of the view of their “adoring” public. Their worth is measured solely on their looks.

Just because you aren’t famous, and I’m not famous for having you, doesn’t mean you aren’t the most special cat in the world, because you are YOU. The Grumpy Cats of the world can’t take this away. To me you will always be the most beautiful cat, and I want you always to believe it in your heart. You won’t get attention just by being cute. You have more value than that, and I will always love you.

Love,

Your cat-mom (that’s me).

SaintsBall

On Monday a couple friends invited us to a Saints game. It’s like any regular baseball game, except for the focus being on basically anything but. Weird gimmicks, funny sideshows, and the main draw: $1 beer. When someone tells you that you can get beer for a buck, and you think “that sounds too good to be true!” it usually is. In this case, it was Michelob Golden Light, which I can only take so much of. So I later paid more money for actual good beer. Worth it. saints1

I brought my little Canon Powershot with, in lieu of the DSLR. Gets the job done under the right circumstances. saints2 saints3 saints4Hopefully more Saints games are in our future. It’s a super way to spend a Summer night.

Land of Sky Blue Waters

Well.

On Saturday we got back from a whole week of life Up North. Everybody in the Midwest should get to experience cabin culture at some point in their life. Especially if you live in Minnesota. Lakes, trees and fresh air everywhere. And loons. I’ll take you through the week. 0acabinOur cabin is actually rented, and in a “resort” (it’s like a really nice, sprawling, woodsy, non-trashy trailer park). It’s got a lodge, where there’s an arcade with old-skool games. This is my sister and her boyfriend.0bcabinOn Sundays there is a Bingo night in the lodge. Alan won one this year, and my sister’s BF split the blackout three ways, which is pretty cool I guess. 000cabinI was really excited by the fact that I’d just bought my first French Press and was mocked mercilessly for it. I also read Tina Fey’s book, which is hilarious.00cabinThe resort has a classic woodsmoke Sauna, overlooking the gorgeous small lake. aacabinNearby in Walker, we discovered a new Microbrewery, and went to the taproom on a chilly day with some cabin neighbors we’ve known forever. Alan and I walked away with a couple growlers, and some souvenir glassware. I love beer. So much.abcabinSince it was a chillier week, there was no shortage of fires, blasting that comforting smell of woodsmoke. azcabinS’mores… Naturally.ecabinI didn’t take many photos inside the cabin, but this one shows the high vaulted ceilings and the enormous windows which face the lake and let a ton of late afternoon sunshine in. icabinWe also got into some basketball and beach volleyball. lcabinAlan and I took a few bikerides, including one over to Walker, which is about 20 miles both ways. On the way there is this small lake, Lake May. It’s just nice and all tucked away. mcabinLeech Lake is significantly larger. It’s one of the biggest in the state. Walker is right on a bay and it feels like a little seaside town, making it one of the best small towns there is. ocabinSooo many hours spent on that volleyball court. pcabin

qcabinOne of the nice things about this annual trip is getting to spend so much time with my family (though to be clear I also highly value my alone time), including my little niece who just turned one. This is her and big sister in the cabin. scabinThe owners of the resort also are big into Hawaiian life, so.. Thursdays is always a “Potluck Luau” in the lodge. Pictured is little sister. tcabinI’m still learning how to use the DSLR, but a few lucky things happened while there; there was actually a photo class held for anyone at the resort to attend, and my good friend Anna who is a photographer, happened to be in the same town as me, which was a surprise, and having seen her for the first time in 3 months, she gave me some photo tips. Now I look at the (1400+) photos I took over the week, and can pinpoint when I got better after getting all this great advice. xcabinOne final time in Walker, which is our destination for Friday night dinner. The top photo makes it feel right out of the early nineties. We hit DQ afterwards. ycabinAh, and Leech Lake again. zcabinOur last morning, we left bright and early, and the lake was completely still and glassy. Mm, it’s my very favorite place in the world.

P.S. This is the Land of Sky Blue Waters (caution: some light racism)

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