From Victim to Survivor: Domestic Violence a Disease more Deadly than Covid-19

I have to take a literal gigantic breath as I begin to write this very personal post. It’s not for fear of the consequences of divulging such personal accounts, but the huge knots it creates in my chest; a psychosomatic response to re-living traumatic experiences. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I began to write this then had to stop. I’d get doubtful and insecure as I’d stew over the vulnerability one faces when we talk about our truths that may touch on less than favorable aspects of our past. I have never shied away from talking about personal questionable life choices as a means to relate with others easily to remove some of those communication barriers. I have typically communicated them in the most digestible of ways; leaving out the darker aspects that perhaps are too heavy to unload on anyone that isn’t being paid to endure it.

But you see since the pandemic closures and increased isolation, according to John Hopkins Medicine the rate of murder-suicide, in which a male partner kills a female and then himself, has risen since the same time last year. In my personal network, I’ve been inundated with reports of domestic violence and abuse that has sent me on countless occasions into a tailspin of worry and concern for those involved. I’ve lost a close family member to a murder suicide, leaving two small children behind to face a life without either parent. And then there is my story which lead me to the decision to share in hopes others can relate and identify the warning signs or a way out.

It would be about 20 years ago that I finally left a very horrific and abusive relationship. I was an extremely naïve and sheltered teen, having grown up fairly normal, in fact very privileged. I had attended a prestigious boarding school where the evils of the world I’m sure existed, however in my little world did not. I had heard rumblings of inappropriate teacher student sexual relationships, and the odd senior who was rumored to have used cocaine. I had high school boyfriends who were all respectful, polite, in which nothing occurred outside of the typical adolescent dramatic heartbreaks.

Once I had graduated I had taken off immediately to University in Ottawa, following my high school boyfriend so we could be together forever. By year two I had fallen out of love and into the lap of this beautiful Haitian Spoken Word Poet who played the guitar, spoke French and burned incense while we canoodled on a mattress on a floor. That ended when my time at University in Ottawa ended, as did my tolerance for the smell of burning incense. My repertoire of lovers had been always a beautiful sequence of experiences and lessons in which shaped my view on love and loyalty. I felt empowered, desired, and fearless in my trust of others with my body, mind and soul.

I didn’t know otherwise. The universe had not shown me everything yet.

I look back often and ask myself when did things go so wrong for me. I have enough self awareness now to acknowledge that I have always had a curious flare for mischief and risk. The excitement attached to choices I’ve made repeatedly have always been self indulgent in nature, and in my immaturity lacked foresight. I’ve often ignored consequences; drunk off the adrenaline rush and for the most part got away with a majority of the poor choices I made. Right up until I met B.R.

You see B.R. was a bouncer at a popular nightclub I used to work at in Vancouver. He was gigantic. This was new to me, and I was attracted to the dangerous disposition he possessed. There were no boys or men like this at my boarding school or University. He was the unicorn I wanted to ride. My 19 year old self was fascinated by the celebrity status he appeared to have with crowds of people who’d line up outside and ask for him by name. He was the gatekeeper of all things cool to my little 19 year old brain. What I knew was that I wanted to be associated with that illusion of power and importance. And as things progressed it was just that…all an illusion.

I would learn as we began dating all about his criminal involvement, drug dealing, and of course the women he was still dealing with. You would think that all those red flags would be enough to high tail it in the other direction. Not this girl. I wanted more. I wanted to be a bad girl. The boarding school student, University student life was too vanilla for me. It bored me and I thought I could handle it, I mean I had a promising future what could shake that up?

I was getting a lot of attention at 19 as I had learned to embrace my shape and sporting a blonde T-Boz haircut. I was working the VIP section, serving athletes like Gary Payton when the Celtics were in town playing the Vancouver Grizzlies. It was the height of the R&B era in the clubs and it was a spectacular time to be in mix, where I was situated front and center. I was hooked and I couldn’t be swayed in any other direction.

As the courtship begun with B.R. I recall one night I would be followed from my work to my condo where a car pulled up in front of my gate in which a screaming tall blonde came plummeting out of her car to confront me. Allegedly I had stole her man. I hadn’t cared – I was seemingly winning the battle. She would continue to stalk my work place, bringing her friends to watch and attempt to intimidate me. I’d be told over and over I was the only one and made to feel that way as other girls would look on with what I had assumed was jealousy. I wish I had enough smarts then to have walked away…that would have been the first chance that I had to do so.

Eventually B.R. and I would move in together. To be honest there is a lot that I don’t remember but I know that it was filled with every kind of abuse under the sun. I was being groomed during this time to eventually be trafficked the way he saw fit or when I would be sold. Car notes, cell phones and insurance would be put in my name, where I had no idea. Bill collectors would call the home of my parents looking for me where I’d adamantly deny that the man I was with could not have done this to me. If I confronted him, I’d be met with painful and degrading verbal abuse that only sunk me further into the belief I was nothing without him. He would not return home for days, leaving me wondering where he was and who he was with. I’d sob on the floor of my shower waiting for is return which with every passing hour it would cut deeper and deeper into my self esteem and whatever pride I had left. He had been using drugs heavily during these times and would return home strung out and agitated, and I was oblivious to it. I hadn’t seen hard drugs and I didn’t know what hard drug use looked like. He’d come home one morning in a psychosis where I was woken up by him on top of me with a gun to my head, and in the next moment, it would go off accidentally; hitting the pillow and passing through the wall out the siding of the building. Another time him and his friend would rob our apartment, taking anything of value. He’d later try to say it was probably “one of my little boyfriends” which only was a way to deflect the heat away from him.

Another time I’d had enough after a terrible beating where I was able to get away and call police from a payphone on Davie Street. I’d make the mistake of telling police that he had a gun and where I believe he had gotten it from. I would learn that there was already an ongoing investigation involving the parties mentioned. That action in itself would make me fearful to live or return to Vancouver for almost a decade. Its the fear of those consequences that made me decide to join the same man that I had called police on in San Diego where he had managed to get past the border and elude police. You see I was 3 months pregnant by this time and a very damaged shell of a human being. B.R. had been successful in isolating me from my family and everyone or thing that loved me- having me to believe that my only option was him. I left with no warning and no belongings other than some clothes and whatever mementos I could pack in a couple of suitcases.

I’d spend the next 5 months living in San Diego. In the beginning my parents had worked with Vancouver City Police to locate me and they were successful however I was not able to provide a statement to police that I had been coerced to leave or had been kidnapped. The term “grooming” hadn’t really been a term used a lot in addition the way they had executed the search for me was terrifying. We had been surrounded by SWAT and when we were asked to exit guns were drawn and pointing at myself and him. I was under the impression I was in trouble and was going to do anything to get out of it. As I sat in the back of a cruiser and asked b a male tactical officer if “I was okay?” I remained silent. They would release me back to him where he’d unleash the worst beating I’d ever had experience from him resulting in chunks of my hair ripped from my head and a swollen jaw. I’d spend the remaining months stuck in a small apartment with no furniture, often hungry with no means of communication with the outside world. Sometimes I’d be able to walk a ways to find a payphone and call home where I’d tell my parents everything was good. I couldn’t risk another mess up like before.

They knew otherwise that I wasn’t at all good and as painful as it was they would await the moment I’d call and signal for help. As my baby grew bigger in my belly so did the desire to have enough strength to call and make arrangements for my escape. I’d walk in the hot San Diego sun down El Cajon Boulevard to that payphone and make a collect call to my mom and dad in British Columbia. My dad would leave their house immediately and make the 16 hour drive to com get me, only stopping for gas. When B.R. left that morning, I’d gather my belongings as quickly as possible and begin the drive home to Canada, back to safety as it seemed. I’d go onto to experience almost a year of peace from that day on starting my new life as a mom to my beautiful baby girl.

But a year is not long enough to undo the damage that had been done and in my loneliness I’d romanticize the idea that perhaps our daughter would soften his heart and encourage a new start. The communication started slow and I’d be suckered into believing that he was sorry. Somehow he’d miraculously been able to make it back over the boarder again to B.C. where he indicated he wanted to meet his daughter. Being a mother at 22, I faced some unique challenges with the familiar feeling of isolation happening to me again. My friends at this time were still in University and none of them to my knowledge could relate or empathize with the situation I had found myself in. I felt like I had no one to talk to and had not yet faced the ability to share with my parents what had happened to me. I had not yet even processed what had happened to me yet, I was just trying to survive and take care of my baby. I had not had a baby shower and the arrival of my daughter was not the celebratory affair that many of us experience in better circumstances. I had been so tired of everyone feeling sorry for me at this time and wanted to appear strong again. I was primed again to fall right back into the hands of the devil nd so I did.

It would not be long before things fell right back into the same cycle of of abuse again. And it would not take long for it all to come to the moment where I’d live or die. And unlike the fog surrounding all of the other terrible accounts of abuse, this last time I would remember every minute. It would start on a Saturday morning when I’d be dropped off by a girlfriend who’s house I would have stayed at that night. My daughter was away visiting her grandmother for the weekend and I for the first time in over a year would go to a pub. I’d arrive at my little apartment I had gotten where I’d be met in the hallway by B.R. My house had been trashed and I could see my daughters toys, clothing and other belongings had been thrown out of the window as well in the dumpster below. I’d be accused of being with other men that night and called every disgusting name in the book over and over. When I had tried to leave I would be dragged to the bedroom where I was held for the next 24 hours. I would be punched so hard in the head I’d blackout and wake up hours later with him above me, spitting hateful things. I’d be allowed to take a shower to wash off the spit and urine that had been thrown on me, only to corner me more and have more urine and feces thrown at me. He’d rape me on the floor several times, choking me until I’d pass out. I’d pretend to be dead, in fact I thought I was, breathing shallow enough as to not give off movement in my chest. This would scare him enough to finally get up and leave the apartment. Hours later when I felt safe to move I’d find my way to the neighbors and call police for only the second time on him. My neighbor would then tell me that she heard me screaming but wasn’t sure what to do. He’d go to jail for a few months and then finally deported.

I’d never return again to a life with him, or maintain any contact, My daughter would never know her father and for all the right reasons. I would spare her and my family the gruesome details that I feared so much would shape their opinions of me. The same fear I face in sharing these details with you all. Other than the courts and the police who took my statements I would share only snippets of what I had endured. Last year I finally completed my trauma therapy, and would be delighted to find out that trauma therapy would not entail me to re-hash every painful detail I had carried on my shoulders for almost 2 decades. I’d learn so much about my resilience and finally begin to release the sense of shame I had carried with me for so long. You see shifting my perspective from being a victim of domestic violence, to being a survivor of domestic violence, has been monumental in my healing and ability to speak out proudly on the topic. The moment when I pretended to be dead was not an act of giving up, it was the will to live another day, and the moment that changed the outcome that allows me to be here today. It is what has allowed me to carry on working with families and children that encounter domestic violence, and what helps me engage with other girls facing sexual exploitation. It’s what lead me to a career in social work for the last 15 years. So many great things came from being a survivor and I feel just as passionate for others facing the same opportunity to change their outcomes.

As I conclude the hardest piece of writing I have ever done, I encourage you to connect with me if my story resonated with you. If I can be of any help, direct you to resources, safe houses, or be an ear to listen to please reach out! I urge others to talk about their experiences with trusted people who can offer a good ear or wisdom that may surprise you. Survivors are everywhere, even among those who seem like they have it all together. Below I have left a few tips to consider if you or a loved one is facing domestic violence.

What should I do to protect myself from domestic violence during the pandemic?

Links to services

Look Out for Warning Signs

Put a plan together if someone you are living with is:

  • being verbally or emotionally hurtful.
  • threatening you.
  • having episodes of explosive anger.
  • harming animals.

Steps You Can Take to Keep Yourself and Others Safe

  1. Find a place you can retreat to safely. Avoid the bathroom or kitchen.
  2. Enlist support from a trusted friend or family member you can call.
  3. If necessary, use a code word or phrase to indicate you need help.
  4. Memorize phone numbers of people and agencies you might need to call in an emergency.
  5. Make sure you can easily access:
    • cash.
    • identification (Social Security card and driver’s license).
    • birth and marriage certificates.
    • credit cards, safe deposit box keys and bank information.
    • health insurance information.
    • any documentation, photos, medical or police reports relating to previous episodes of abuse.

Are there apps or interventions for domestic abuse?

If you are feeling unsafe but are unsure if someone you are living with is being abusive, apps may help provide some clarity on whether or not you are at risk.

MyPlan is an app for anyone having issues in a relationship, COVID-19 related or not. The app can help users determine if a partner’s behavior is showing signs of abuse. Also, users can get connected to resources personalized to their situation and their life priorities.

In-person interventions can work, too. Strength at Home is a program offered by the U.S. Veterans Administration to address the problem of veterans using violence against their domestic partners. It serves as a way to help address abusive behavior without demonizing the abuser. Random controlled trials have demonstrated that the program is effective.

A Spoon Full of Cereal Helps the Milk Go Down: A Hungry Strike

It's A Good Day For A Super Big Bowl Of Cereal - Casper Blog
Pick Your Fave!

Cereal has always been one of those go to foods for me that I have always counted on whether its to kill some hunger pangs, silence an angry stomach that doesn’t know what it wants to eat, or make me feel good inside. And before all of the Nutrition/Dietary Maniacs get on their soap boxes, I am fully aware of where this food staple in my life falls short. In the last few years I have strayed from time to time away from the safer, healthier choices of cereal that would habitually line my cupboards. Every now and again my other half would buy a small box of Sugary Delight, and indulge occasionally in a bowl. I’d toss my nose up in the air as if it was inconceivable to consider eating a bowl of cereal that only as I child I was allowed to have when we went camping. You see, these were “Sugar Cereals,” and if I didn’t know better they may as well have been the devil according the searing Kathy Bates voice in my head. Mama did not let little Cece D such garbage, and forget being allowed to add sugar to my plain CHEERIOS. Read More About That Tale Here. However, the joke would be on my mother when the CARBS ARE BAD era arrived, and all cereal was clumped into that category. But somehow the trauma of my no sugar childhood clearly stuck with me. I had not bought a fun cereal ever until I realized the pie I had just smashed was doing me no favors either.

My palette required some level of priming before I went all the way balls deep into the hard stuff. I started with the Honey Nut Cheerios and Vanilla Special K, moving onwards to the flavorful Honey Combs and scrumptious Frosted Flakes. My taste buds awakened like the blood vessels of crack cocaine addict, and I was left strung out needing more on a daily basis, it was the first thing I’d think of when I woke up. As my tolerance for candy covered processed grains grew stronger it seemed as if I would not be satisfied until I could find the right balance of crystalized glaze, upholding itself against the saturating milk.

But Alas, my other half is not just a pretty face, he is a connoisseur of all things sinful and indulgent, and he had placed something new into the cart one day that I had never seen before. It’s box- bright yellow like a singing Canary; boasting bold, colorful letters that sung a Sonnet into my heart “Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries.” The audacity this cereal had claiming it was so Crunchy that it deserved the word Crunch twice in its name. This particular delicacy has ruined me for all other cereals as Quaker has somehow managed to corner the niche market on the gastronomical science of crunch. I could take 20 minutes to eat my luscious bowl of crunchy morsels and they show no mercy against the milk’s ominous attempt to penetrate its sugary walls. That my friends is the sign of an exemplary cereal in my eyes. So much so, that the roof of my mouth was no match for its piercing swords lacerating me with its crunchiness. But like all good things they must come to an end, surely the roof of my mouth spoke that truth.

Now you may be thinking from the sounds of it, that I need an intervention of sorts. And I assure you there will be one as soon as these Covid Restrictions ease up and I can return to the gym. I’m in what I have come to call a “HUNGRY STRIKE.” I’ve realized -Why make life harder with more restrictions added to it like cutting carbs at a time like this. And seeing as these restrictions may carry on for some time, I’ve taken my interest to the Magical World of the Interweb where communities alike gather and share their own field research in regards to Cereal, or Nuggets of The Sun that I more commonly refer to it as.

Lucas Kwan Peterson, a Columnist from Los Angeles Times broke it down to a Science with the article: The official breakfast cereal power rankings: Part I

On BuzzFeed they posted Literally Just 21 Funny Tweets About Cereal

My Favorite Tweet by Aaron Edwards @aaronmedwards

” I think Frosted Flakes are actually the dandruff of angels.”

You cannot get more poignant than that Mr. Edwards.

As I searched further for others to join my Hungry Strike Brigade, I came across something that felt like may give the Cap’n a run for his money. The magical sorcery of these cereal makers continues to keep me in awe as I uncovered that they indeed had made a Twinkies Cereal. You heard me…little tiny Twinkies that you could spoon into your mouth at a rate much faster than you could stuff a whole Twinkie in there.

“Between Popeyes chicken sandwich and this crap we all gonna die before 55.”


— One Instagram user’s response to the new Twinkies Cereal

According to Josh Jans, Brand Manager of Cereal Partnerships at Post Consumer Brands, said in a statement: “In developing a cereal version of the iconic Twinkies, our top priority was focused on delivering the great Twinkies flavor in each bite. And unless you have been living under a rock Twinkies became a hot commodity as Hostess Brands, the owner of Twinkies, went out of business in 2012. Approximately 18,500 employees lost their jobs and 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, approximately 5,500 delivery routes, and 570 bakery outlets were closed.

In conclusion, whether you are a stoner who loves the muncheroos, or an adult working through her sugar free childhood trauma-cereal is the bomb. Ultimately I will need to wean myself from its tender clutch, and pretend we don’t know each other when we pass one another in the aisles. But like a booty call that hits you up at 2am with the “You Up” text 2 years later, you know it will always be there for you if you need a dose of frivolous pleasure.

Thanks for Coming By For Another Broads Tale.

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Bell Lets Talk Day 2021- CECE D. Walks the TALK.

What is #BellLetsTalk? Mental health campaign to raise awareness

Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day- And unless you are some kind of superhuman, you are really feeling it right now. Feeling the isolation, loneliness and just overall weight of the world while everything hangs in uncertainty.

So Lets Talk. And let me remind those that you are not alone in how you feel.

I commonly get the statement from friends and peers that I always seem to come across like I have it together. And in all honesty I’m not really sure why, as I’m fairly transparent; I always assumed my brand of crazy came across pretty clearly. I cycle from being sometimes quite

You see, I have struggled with depression for the last 10 years. It wouldn’t be until the last 3 years that I was diagnosed with not only depression, but anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder and PTSD. And it would be only in the last 3 years that I have consistently remained on medication as well as accessed therapeutic supports to manage what I’m going to assume something I will need to treat for the remainder of my life. I used to go off medications when I had assumed I had gotten better, only to find myself rapidly deteriorate and in the same spot as before- the gutter. I had assumed that depression only needed to be treated when you were at your worst, and it was something you treated until you felt better or that you no longer needed medication. I couldn’t have been more wrong when it came to myself and what I needed to remain well and stable.

Let me also share that my health and wellness not only depends on medication, but therapy and a consistent awareness around advocating for self care and healthy boundaries. I rely on exercise, my family, and doing the things that keep me hopeful, busy and passionately engaged. With the current lock down here in Alberta and the frigid weather, my Mental Health- specifically my anxiety is through the damn roof. I’m not OKAY!

Time for some honesty…isn’t this what this is all about.

Last week my boyfriend had let the dog outside in the middle of the night to go pee. She has been doing thing lately where she comes to the door to come in, but then doesn’t want to come in, she wants you to come out and play. So she was doing this dance repeatedly and was refusing to come in despite multiple attempts. I was in bed, but for some reason started to become anxious about, what if she gets out of the yard, what if she eats something she shouldn’t be, what if someone comes and steals her. My boyfriend who was dealing with it saw me get up to get her in. I literally could not go to sleep until she was in. My boyfriend who “had it”, saw that I was circling and wanting to take control. He told me to back off and go to sleep. I simply could not. I went as far as making an excuse to go downstairs and make toast in the middle of the night so I could intervene and bring her in. Not surprisingly, she did the same to me and wouldn’t come in. Then I started a fight. I got so angry because I felt my boyfriend was impeding on my need to ease my anxiety and I felt powerless. We fought the next day about it until I told him what was happening for me. He understood and wished I had just shared what was going on. To be honest I was embarrassed that such a small thing caused me to loose all sense of reality and faith in him, not to mention my back yard is 100% safe.

Yesterday I had received a call at 5:15pm on one of my files and I knew that the following day would be a literal shit show. I was already anticipating the level of work that I’d be facing, and began to do the work in my head that could have waited. It snowballed from there. I became fidgety, then itchy, then completely restless as I could not settle myself into bed. I began to pace, went pee like 8 times, fumbled around for things that I was trying to organize for the next day. Then I couldn’t find my medication and began worrying that my dog ate it as I had found a rogue lid from prescriptions past. I began searching my car, purses, laundry, dogs mouth…this went on for an hour. I finally found it- it had fallen into my top drawer, clearly fumbling out of the bag I hold it in safely so that my dog can’t get a hold of it. But before I could actually honor the care I typically take around my dogs safety I was sure my dog was going to die- despite her totally normal behavior. This my friends is anxiety. It trumps any kind of confidence you have in yourself.

After this it would take almost the entirety of the night for my partner who now recognized the signs that I was spiraling. I would cry and release all of the worry, sharing things that were even alarming to myself. I would tell him that I was feeling like what is the purpose of living right now and that I felt like there is nothing that provides me hope that resolve or normalcy is near. I told him I was exhausted with staying positive and working so hard to keep it together. “Everyday feels the same,” I feel like everyday, and everyday I feel alone.” I feel alone at work when I go to an office that only allows one team member there at a time, so I don’t see my co-workers. I feel alone in all my meetings I hold as I meet with strangers from behind masks, and deal with serious issues, for me to deal with alone. I feel alone as I walk through a city, only seeing eyes that show no smiles or expression as they are protected behind masks. I feel invisible as others don’t see my smiles directed at them and ignored as they cannot see my desire to connect. I told him I feel like “I’m walking in a world of zombies.” I continued to scratch and rub my body and face as the energy released itself from my body. He would hold me tight me, keep me grounded in an embrace that was enough to lull me to sleep finally after 5 straight hours of this.

I woke up this morning tired obviously, but I bravely put one step in front of the other, had a shower, took my medication and reached out to a few friends. I shared that I was struggling, and they listened and told me they too were feeling the same way. I felt comforted that they too were “crazy” like me, and in fact not crazy at all but human.

I continue to hope the gyms open up, I need to move and I need to release this toxic energy in my body. As we await to hear whether things will open up I continue to consider other alternatives. I thought to myself, maybe I will take up a friends advise and go purchase a CBD pen to use before bed, or maybe I’d just go ahead and take an edible…at this rate I’m open to anything!

I hope you all can share your stories on Bell Let’s Talk Day so that we can continue to build a community of acceptance with normalizing Mental Health discussions.

Geisha The Akita Fur Baby: A Puppies Life

We are well into our fur baby’s 3rd week with us- what a ride it’s been! I can’t help but continue to wait for the terrible moment where I find my base boards destroyed or she’s eaten a shoe. So far this gal no longer sleeps in her kennel at night- and sleeps all night. She’ll get up with me in the morning but requires some coaxing to stumble down the stairs to go for her morning business. Geisha prefers, not unlike us humans, a gradual emergence from her little dreams into the arms of some warm cuddles and kisses. She’s caught onto the schedule and loves some interactive play time with a ball where she willingly fetches and brings it bCk to her mama. She’s caught on even further that her one ball gets retrieved and placed delicately into the red launcher her mama is holding. She is so damn smart!

This leads me to believe not only is she an over achiever in my eyes, but she’s going to need harder challenges. You see Akita’s are known to be very smart- but if not challenged you will begin to see your base boards destroyed and yard dug up in no time. Off to amazon I go in search for the equivalent of Baby Einstein toys.

Her repertoire of skills go from sitting for her dinner. Responding to sit, lay down, stay and come Geisha!

That’s when she feels like it.

Her “stubbornness” that I heard about in our Akita Research can be seen mostly around when she’s not ready to “ Come Geisha!!!”

She loves her time at the top of the stairs where can be seen regally peering down at her peasant humans below. There she has a perfect vantage point to guard her home- you see she already believes she is working and on duty. From her perspective she takes this job seriously and will not leave her post unless one of her humans is need of her help. Akita’s are not only hunters which you can see in her stalking behaviour with her balls and toys- but she is a certifiable guard dog.

My mom who is 79 is her #1- She takes her job protecting her as seriously as the secret service. She ensures “grandma” makes it down the stairs, and will escort her to the kitchen and from the kitchen to the couch where she resumes her post.

It’s worked out perfectly since my moms little lap dog had since passed and was grieving the loss. I had seen some leeriness prior to Geishas arrival as she wasn’t familiar with such a large breed dog who came with a “reputation” that proceeded her. As many experienced dog owners know these reputations in breeds can be discouraging and unfair to our beloved family fur members. Safe to say grandma is smitten and try to tell her otherwise that Akita’s aren’t the best breeds ever!

So here are a few updated images of our little baby! Her little floppy ears have popped and so has her fascinating little personality!

Cece D’s Behind the Times Tech Finds: My Top 7 New Have to Haves… “Hello Amazon?”

I make it no secret that when it comes to Tech I’m behind the times big time… You can imagine the chaos and turmoil it created in my brain when I got a new ChromeBook for Christmas. My honey buns thought he’d get me something to make my blogging, vlogging and social media easier-in his defense it should have.

But to avoid continuing down this slippery slope where its easy to fall behind, especially at my young age of 42 when I can still remember the simplicity of dial up internet. So here it goes with my most recent not so new finds that I need.

1.

AKC Plus Smart Dog Tracker

Get the smart pet wearable for smart pet parents and you’ll be on your way to easily tracking your pup, monitoring his activity, and staying connected with him 24/7/365 all from the comfort and convenience of your phone.

• Attach the Link Plus to your pet’s collar, or purchase the Classic Link Collar to get connected

• Stay classy with a genuine leather device recommended for pets 10+ lbs.

• Track your pet’s location from your phone

• Get customized activity recommendations

• Use the remote turn-on light for safety

• Enhance training with the remote turn-on sound feature

• Feel at ease with shock resistance & waterproof materials (IP67)

• Stay connected for longer with enhanced battery life

2.

WIN20-Pro-1-Pack-PDI
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker

For the folks who are always misplacing her keys, this practical piece of tech will be able to tell you exactly where your phone and other essential items are at all times. The Pro is their best and most durable Tile. It’s ideal for keys, backpacks, athletic gear or anything else you value. Pro has a 400 ft. Bluetooth range, our loudest ring and a user replaceable battery. You’ll gain peace of mind knowing you can open the app and tap Find to locate your stuff.

3.

Smart Water Bottle-Hidrate Spark 3

Chances are, you may consumes more coffee than water at times. Make sure you never get dehydrated again—thanks to this BPA-free, bluetooth-enabled water bottle. It syncs with your phone, tracks how much you sip each day, and lights up when you’ve gone too long without water.

4.

The Charging Cord Bracelet

Never worry about your phone dying again when you’re out and about.   This stylish bracelet actually doubles as a charging cord and is one of my faves of the year.  You can snag this one in white or black.

5.

Cool Tech Gifts 2021: Sleep
The Philips SmartSleep Light Therapy Lamp

If they’re struggling with sleep like I am, this will help to improve.  This best-selling sleep and wake-up lamp will help wind you down at night with a new relax and breathe function and will help to gradually wake up before your alarm goes off as this lamp will slowly get brighter in the morning to simulate a natural sunrise. If you live in winter for half the year like I do here in Calgary, this is a must!

6.

The Bartesian Premium Cocktail Machine

Make the most amazing cocktails (like margaritas, martinis, old fashioned and more) with this expertly created cocktail machine.  You supply the booze and they supply the drink capsules and are sure to precisely measure everything out.

7.

The Mirror- Virtual Work Out System

A bulky stationary bike isn’t the sexiest decor to bring into your house-nor is it the cheapest these days. But this sleek mirror that transforms into an at-home workout station will fit right into any space. No matter if you are a die-hard yogi, love punching it out in a boxing class, or prefer working with a personal trainer, this mirror has it all—and you can check yourself out the entire time.

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