where have all my animals gone

A rare snake-related post by me-

I have had Vision, a dwarf BCI and my youngest snake, for roughly 9 months now. He will be a year old in July, so by snake standards he is still very much a baby. In the past 9 months, he’s gone from, for lack of better words, a bitey defensive asshole to a relatively passive and trusting creature who simply has Rules ™ on how, where, and when he can be touched. I used the same method to produce these results as I do with all of my reptiles, including my young snake of a notoriously aggressive and defensive species (Amazon Tree Boas) and have frequently been asked how I manage to get these animals that instinctively bite first and ask questions never to allow handling and pictures without drawing blood.

On my dog blog I’ve mentioned the concept of body autonomy a few times in relation to training dogs, and how it crosses over into husbandry in other species. In these posts I’ve detailed how I tame the larger birds at my job, how I teach my snakes not to bite me when I take them out, how I can successfully convince a thrashing dog to accept grooming without a fuss, how I teach cats to not turn into screaming demons for nail trims, and more. I also cover this in many of my dog training lectures at work as my students teach their dogs to allow grooming, nail trims, and medically related handling to prevent injuries and incidents when interacting with these animals. All of this relates back to body autonomy, and how we as humans have consistently ignored other species’ instinctive need to be autonomous.

I am no master animal trainer and do not play one on TV. I train pet dogs and service dogs and have begun to venture into competition, at one point I specialized in rehabbing aggressive and reactive dogs. I have trained various common pet animals in occasionally unconventional ways to do things that make life easier for the both of us, but I don’t claim to be anything special, because what I’m doing is not all that special. It is, however, uncommon for people to make these considerations with their pets and then they call in someone like me to fix a problem that didn’t need to start in the first place.

An example being: frequently on this website and others, the solution for convincing a biting snake not to bite you is to hold it still until it stops biting you. The snake will learn that biting you does not produce the desired result (you letting the snake go or putting it back in its cage) and thus will eventually stop biting you when you pick it up.

In the dog training world, we call this flooding and learned helplessness. It “works” because it produces what we wanted it to. The snake no longer bites when you pick it up. But it failed to address the root of the problem, and frequently if regular handling is not maintained the snake will return to biting you every time you touch it. The snake had learned that there was nothing it could do in order to make you stop doing what it didn’t like, and so had learned that it was helpless against the much larger human. The snake in this situation still doesn’t really want to be handled, it is merely tolerating it because it sees no other option.

While snakes have a much more primitive brain than dogs and thus a much more limited scope of emotions, aggression and violence are always expensive measures to use and thus are frequently considered last resort measures to make an unpleasant situation stop. They are costly in body resources- they take large amounts of energy, stress, and time to resolve, and wounds obtained from violence can become deadly with infection or severity. As a result, a bite should always indicate that whatever you are doing is so unpleasant to the animal you’re doing it to that they’re willing to risk their life in order to make you stop. The common pet snake knows it cannot win against an animal as large as a human. It is hoping you have not come to the same realization, and will not call its bluff.

This creates a problem. Like with dogs, backing off from a situation that is required after a bite will teach the snake that all they have to do to get you to leave them alone is to bite you. If I need to trim my dog’s nails, give him a bath, brush him, or have him examined by a vet, sure I could put him in a muzzle and force him to do it anyway, but it is counter-intuitive to teach him that all he has to do is bite me in order to get out of doing those things he may consider unpleasant. I need to be able to handle my snakes. This is not negotiable, just like the above things I do with my dogs are not negotiable. If I cannot handle them, I cannot check them for injury, disease, or distress. Backing off because my snake, or dog, has threatened to bite me is thus not a viable option. I must be able to complete the task, and the animal in question must let me.

Dogs, by comparison, are relatively easy to convince in this problem. I need to be able to do my dog’s nails. If I give him amazing treats on a good reward schedule, shower him with praise, listen to his body language to give him a chance to calm down and destress before pressing on, and remove my own negative emotions from the equation, he will learn to let me do his nails and even offer the position required for the task within a relatively short amount of time. He does not have to like having his nails done, but I can convince him to like he benefits he gets out of it. Cats and birds and small mammal pets like ferrets, rabbits, and rodents may be slower, but follow much the same way.

I can’t give a snake a treat. That’s not really how snake digestive systems work. I can’t give them a toy. I can’t give them praise. The subtleties of snake body language are much harder to read due to a lack of eyelids, ears, and limbs. Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, all of these are social creatures that practice social bonding and feel an emotion similar to love (in the dog’s case, actually do feel love). Snakes are not social creatures and their brain is not capable of producing the chemicals involved in the emotion we call love. I cannot convince a snake to love me or to like being handled. That is not something their biology is able to do. Does that mean I have to rely on flooding and learned helplessness in order to get them to let me handle them?

I keep stressy species. While all reptiles are more than capable of stressing themselves to death, my current list of exotic pets includes a special needs ball python with a severe neurological condition, a brazilian rainbow boa specifically purchased from someone who breeds minimally stressy snakes because he got tired of the species’ reputation for being bitey assholes, and a dwarf bci locality (read: like a subspecies, but not different enough to get their own scientific name) known for being defensive bitey assholes. Previously, I had a special needs corn snake that was a defensive bitey asshole, an amazon tree boa that was remarkably handleable despite the species’ reputation for being aggressive and defensive bitey angry assholes, and a few foster ball pythons that came from neglect situations and had never been handled before leading to them being defensive bitey assholes. Stress is common in situations where aggression or violence is utilized, even if it is being utilized by the animal and not the human. If the stress from moving can kill my beloved ATB Hydra, why would I intentionally expose him to situations where he would feel required to use violence again and again until he learned that that was not a way out of the situation?

I did not flood my snakes. I hold them. They do not bite me. It has been a long time since any of them have even struck at me, and the majority of the bites and strikes I have received have been from when I was learning the snake in front of me or from me intentionally ignoring their body language and handling them a way I knew they didn’t like for whatever reason. Snakes do not bite without cause. Whether you, a human, can see that cause or not, snakes do not bite because they are vindictive or mean. As said, their brains are far too primitive to feel such complex emotions. Even wild snakes do not bite without provocation- whether you intentionally provoked them or not does not matter, simply whether they felt provoked enough to need to defend themselves possibly with their lives.

Vision came to me unsure of my intentions and of whether I could be considered safe. He certainly didn’t believe I should be picking him up. At two months old, the world is a scary place to a baby snake where nearly everything is bigger than you and nearly everything wants to kill or eat you. I do not blame him for doubting the warm giant cooing over him with grabby hands. To him, I’m sure I am some baffling mixture of hawk, bear, and wild canine. All of these things readily kill and eat snakes, all of these things may be persuaded to not kill and eat this particular snake if he bites them.

Instead of picking him up and allowing him to spend precious resources stressing himself to the point of repeatedly biting me- which hurts, by the way, so I don’t really want to be bitten any more than I need to be- I allowed him to show me things about him. I let him show me what he does when he’s nervous, when he doesn’t want to be bothered. I let him show me what he does when he’s curious and feels like investigating what’s in front of him. I let him show me how he does and does not like to be touched. Like many snakes, he seems to enjoy being scratched lightly under the chin. Like many snakes, he doesn’t seem to appreciate being tickled on the stomach. He prefers to create a “foot” about 2/3 down his body and use it as an anchored perch when exploring my hands. He does not want his tail to be touched. When he is nervous or unsure of potential danger, he will retract and coil himself into a loose ball. If pressed before he recovers, he will “expand” the “ball” quickly and vocalize. If he continues to be pressured, he will threaten to bite and will begin to try. If he is allowed to relax, he will recreate his “foot” and resume quietly investigating his surroundings.

Today, I took the lid off of his enclosure and lifted him out without a fuss. While this is not a first- we accomplished this task about 4 weeks in- only in the past few weeks has he not immediately retracted into his loose ball and required me to wait a few minutes for him to relax before touching him. Instead, he immediately made his “foot” and began to investigate, leaned against my finger as I scratched his chin, and maintained his confidence throughout the time I handled him. Sure, I could possibly get a similar result through the first method of flooding and teaching him that he is helpless against me, but I don’t need to. I can get a confident content snake that is not only tolerating my handling but also showing curiosity and intelligence without forcing him to accept my hands as things he has to deal with in his life.

The people espousing these methods always ask me how I managed to take such nice, interesting pictures of Hydra without bleeding- or joke about how much blood they think I lost inbetween shots- and are always surprised when I tell them that I don’t get bit because I understand a snake’s need for autonomy and allow the snake to tell me their “rules” for being touched and then follow those rules or understand if I break them I will get bit. As a result, I don’t break their rules unless I have to, and thus I don’t get bit unless I have to. This allows me to handle and investigate my snakes, look in their mouths, check their vents and between their scales, touch their heads, and rescue them from fluke accidents such as Quetzal’s injury with his decor without the snake taking their frustrations out on me. It also allows me to take some pretty pictures of them outside or on props without worrying how I will retrieve them without being bitten when I’m done. 

The Maid

cavuhlieryouth submitted:

I didn’t experience the stories I keep myself, but I’ve heard them from about 4 different people who were said to experience it together or just passing them down, some of them seem pretty unbelievable but I’ve heard it from 4 people so I don’t know what to think. I first heard it from my mother, then I asked my great-uncle, then my grandmother, then my great-grandmother (the mother of my great-uncle and grandmother). I don’t think this is a frightening story but it has no explanation and maybe someone will see this and give me one. The location where this takes place is in a town called Chinique, its in the city of Quiche, Guatemala. My great-grandfather was said to be particularly wealthy compared to most in the town, so he had a maid for he and my great-grandmother. Every morning the food they had would disappear, some crumbs here and there but they had to buy food or kill their farm animals everyday because of this. Thinking a homeless person snuck in to eat their food, my great-grandfather stayed up to see for himself. In the middle of the night he heard something so he got out of his room and saw a pig eating all the food. He thought, “maybe I can kill it and we can eat it for tomorrow since we have no food again,” and he brought it to one of those fenced areas where he kept animals. The next morning he went to go get the pig, it was gone and in its place was the maid sleeping. I don’t know how a person could turn into a pig or if that’s what happened but there’s many unexplained things in this world.

Fuck Yeah Nightmares Mod James: 4/10 That’s super weird and not at all what I was expecting.  Thanks for sharing!

i have this feeling // m.c.

okay this got way out of hand im sorry omg but this is for @0kbutmichaelclifford and @smartsetclifford‘s sports blurb night (but there really is not a lot of sports in this….sorry) edit: also this is punk!michael and ballet!you but yes anywho! enjoy!
wc: 2,619

Michael fell in love. Again. He fell in love with the motions of your dancing, he fell in love with the way you pinned your hair up, and he fell in love with your little smile at the end of every dance. You were the beauty of the campus, the apple of every professor’s eye; yet he was the psycho, the bane of every professor’s existence. He shouldn’t have fallen for you, he should have just kept walking, but he didn’t. He stopped in front of the dance studio. He watched you twirl as if you were a feather caught in the wind. And he watched his heart jump off the deep end of love without his permission. Michael fell in love with you, but you only saw him as the boy with piercings and tattoos.

He works as a volunteer at the animal shelter across from your studio. That’s how he first noticed you, besides the astronomy class you both have. At first, he didn’t notice that it was you whom danced in the late evenings, but then he got a glance at your face. Michael likes to pride himself on the fact that he remembers faces quite well. And you, well, you were etched into his mind forever. You were a true masterpiece; from the bun that set on top of your head, to the pink tutu that surrounded your waist. If he was an artist, he’d paint you. But he wasn’t. Michael was the quiet guy with crazy hair and tattoos who occasionally volunteered to cuddle the animals that no one wanted. He supposes that maybe him and the animals aren’t that different.

He remembers the first day you came into the shelter. You still had your dance uniform on, and your bag was settled on your shoulder. Your hair was down, though, and he swore you looked like an angel who was gracing him with their presence. He was in the back, trying to focus on the puppy who was gnawing at his fingers, but he couldn’t help overhearing your conversation with the owner.

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The documentary that changed my life the most has got to be: Earthlings.
It wasn’t until I watched Earthlings that I realized why it was so important to be vocal/active about animal rights. I felt so foolish having gone all those years keeping everything to myself, out of fear of offending those around me. And I have @shaunmonson to thank for having the courage to make such a film that inspires me to this day.
And now, I am so excited about working together w @shaunmonson on a new film project, and can’t wait to share more details about it with you guys soon!
But for now, I’ll leave you w one of my favourite quotes from Earthlings where Joaquin Phoenix says: “When we wince at the suffering of animals, that feeling speaks well of us. But it takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.” 🖤 #earthlings #speciesism #animalrights#vegan #fortheanimals #fortheplanet#forhumanity [May 27th, 2017]

australet789  asked:

I agree with you about not wanting to do Deerper as an always scary monster, basically because I cant stop thinking of "Bambi" (i know) and how much this character grew to be the Prince of the Forest. After this movie I have a respect for deers and kind of admiration.

DUDE OKAY IMMA GO ON A HUGE CERVIDAE RANT BECAUSE DEER ARE AMAZING ANIMALS OKAY. IF ANYONE THINKS THEY ARE “WEAK” THEY AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION.

Mule Deer Buck, my basis of Dipper’s deer half.

I put it all under a read more because I got long-winded in my enthusiasm.

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anonymous asked:

I mean please do own your creative freedom, but personally Shiro shipped with any of the other Paladins does make me a tad uncomfortable. On the voltron wiki he's listed as 25 while Hunk, Lance, and Keith are listed as "upper teen" (so 17-19????) and Pidge is only listed as 14. I guess I can kinda squint and say if they're 19 then it's ok, but honestly the maturity difference is just......I can see where the ships come from, so I'm not gonna tell you not to draw it. Just not my cup of tea.

And that is absolutely 100% fine! 

You are entitled to feel however you want to feel - it is none of my business who you do and do not ship, for whatever reasons you have. I’m certainly not gonna get all up in your business because we have different opinions about fictional animated characters and come banging on your door in order to force you to look at pictures of them together. 

And the reverse should be the same, but unfortunately I’ve seen multiple instances in this fandom where it is not, where people have actively gone after artists because of the very reasons you’ve mentioned, yelling about how they’re wrong and should stop drawing them together immediately. That kind of behaviour makes me super uncomfortable.

(That’s not aimed at you directly, anon. You’ve been very polite.)

As far as I’m concerned everyone is responsible for their own browsing experience. If someone doesn’t like or enjoy something, the onus is on them to use the numerous tools at their disposal to filter out that content rather than harass the people that create it. 

So far this has been the only message I’ve received on the age difference in Voltron ships. As you can probably tell from the picture I drew, I’m not particularly bothered by it when it comes to these three. If it is a problem for you, then I invite you to either unfollow or blacklist the “shklance” tag, which I will be sure to use if ever I draw more of this trio together. 

Bear in mind that Haikyuu!! is still my main fandom and Voltron fanart will be few and far between assuming I decide to actually draw more!

If I get any further messages on this topic they will be deleted because I have no desire to enter into a lengthy discussion about it.

as an aside whoever came up with the ship names in this fandom should be ashamed of themselves what kind of hot mess

Situation in Chile

Some of you probably know this but anyways i’m going to explain what is the situation. 

(In this picture you can see the comparison of hectares lost last year and right now from the fifth region to the worst one, the seventh region / where I live) 

Chile is going through the biggest wildfire in its history. Thousands of Thousands of  hectares are gone and despite all the effort and help , the fire seems to not stop any time soon. Houses have been burned down, animals are hurt and dying , and people have lost everything and we cannot see or breathe because the smoke is covering everywhere. It hurts me to see all the beautiful places I visit often, burned down to nothing. It breaks my heart to watch the news announcing more wildfire in other places and hear the fire truck sirens every 10 mins. i can’t take it anymore, and all i can do is send water to the fire station and pray. 

Chile has been through many earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and many other natural disasters. I’m sure we will stand up again and build up our lives from the scratch.

So please keep us in your prayers 🙇 

genderqueersteverogers  asked:

"Where the fuck did that clown come from?" Jasico please? :D I love you so much

Unsurprisingly, Nico was fuming when he emerged from fallen popcorn stand. He angrily swiped away some popcorn from his jacket as he walked over to Jason. “Why were there Scytian Dracanae at a country fair?” he asked furiously. “It makes no sense. And where the fuck did that clown come from?”

“He’s gone now,” Jason said, brushing some unpopped corn off Nico’s shoulders. “I don’t even know what he was. For all we know it might have been another demigod.

"Well, if I see him again, I’ll send him down to the underworld to see just how amused my father is by exploding balloon-animals,” Nico said. “Let’s get out of here before we get arrested.”

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sparrowharkness  asked:

Since I asked what your favorite part of the game was, what's the worst part of all the Animal Crossing games?

ANIMALS FUCKING PUTTING THEIR HOUSES WHEREVER THEY FUCKING FEEL LIKE IT OH MY GOD CHESTER JUST DROPPED HIS ASS INTO MY HYBRID ROSES LIKE IT WAS NO BIG DEAL AND LIKE I DIDNT HAVE TWO EMPTY SPECIFICALLY SHAPED VILLAGER SPOTS WHERE HE COULD HAVE GONE HE JUST HAD TO GO IN THE FUCKING ROSES

FUCK CHESTER AND FUCK THIS GAME MECHANIC 

Underestimating the Power of Social Media - September 26th, 2016
  • <p> <b>Judy:</b> NICK!<p/><b>Nick *in the other room*:</b> ...uh oh.<p/><b>Judy:</b> NICHOLAS WILDE ANSWER ME<p/><b>Nick *tries to stay silent*:</b> ...<p/><b>Judy *stomps into the room, her face deep red and her hands balled into fists*:</b> WHAT. IS. THIS.<p/><b>Nick:</b> Um... A cell phone?<p/><b>Judy:</b> DON'T PLAY DUMB WITH ME. WHAT IS THIS-<p/><b>Nick:</b> Whoa. Language. Let me stop you there, Fluff. Tell me in your inside voice what the problem is. Mmkay?<p/><b>Judy *takes a deep breath*:</b> Why... Is there a picture... Of us on my couch... On your Snarlbook Wall?<p/><b>Nick:</b> So I'm in trouble for posting a picture of us?<p/><b>Judy:</b> No, you're in trouble for posting a picture of us with the caption "Cute little bun needed a nap with her fluffy fox"<p/><b>Nick:</b> ..........<p/><b>Judy:</b> ......... Explain.<p/><b>Nick:</b> I still dont see the problem.<p/><b>Judy:</b> Nick! I spent all this time building up a reputation so animals would take me seriously! No one is going to call me anything but adorable after seeing this... Plus, they're gonna think we're together!<p/><b>Nick:</b> Hm. Okay I think...I think I see where you're coming from. Look, I'll just take the picture down okay? No harm done.<p/><b>Judy:</b> ... You'd better hope no one saw this yet... Because if they did...<p/><b>Nick:</b> Trust me! No one saw! Can I have my phone back?<p/><b></b> *Judy throws his phone at him and stomps away*<p/><b>Nick *waits till she's gone, frantically pulls up the post, freezes*:</b> GAH! 300 likes already?!? I'm gonna die. *deletes picture*<p/></p>

I’ve been debating whether or not to create this post for a long time now. Transitioning to a vegan diet has been one of the best life decisions I’ve ever made. Before becoming vegan, I was struggling with my health - I had all kinds of food intolerances, I had to go on an elimination diet, and I started to feel as though nothing was helping and that I always felt sick no matter what I ate - I talked to my nutritionist and looked into the vegan diet more and more and decided to try it for a couple weeks. Suddenly, all my symptoms and sicknesses were gone. I was feeling comfortable in my own skin for once in my life, energized, compassionate, and healthy. This week is meat free week and I am urging you to just try even cutting meat out of one meal each day, or having one day a week where you cut out meat all day. Humans are not designed to consume animals, and animals are most definitely not designed to be killed and consumed by us. They all have minds, thought processes, and feelings like we do. Here are some reasons why veganism is beneficial to you and our planet:

1. Each and every vegan saves over 100 animals per year

2. Vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Vegans get all the vitamins and nutrients they need to be healthy, without consuming toxins from animal flesh or by-products

3. Meat is often contaminated with feces, blood, and other bodily fluids. Animal products are the top source of food poisoning in the US

4. If everyone in the US ate no meat for just one week, it would be the equivalent of taking 5 million cars off the road. 

5. You save 3000+ litres of water simply by skipping one hamburger

There are so many more facts on why veganism is the answer, whether it’s ethics, saving the environment, or personal health. I recommend watching Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knifes, and so many other documentaries, or checking out beautiful souls like essenaoneill , agirlnamedally , tessbegg , plvntstrong , and so many others. 

Lead Me Not To Temptation

TITLE: Lead Me Not to Temptation

CHAPTER NO./ONE SHOT: Chapter Two

AUTHOR: wolfpawn

ORIGINAL IMAGINE: 

Imagine being chosen to be Loki’s wife, and while at first you loath the idea, you came around and actually fall in love with Loki, and he falls in love with you. But the day before the wedding, Odin changes the arrangement and suddenly you’re being whisked away to marry Thor instead. You and Loki manage to have a secret affair and things are perfect, until you fall pregnant.

RATING:Mature in later Chapters


NOTES/WARNINGS: None yet.

Loki was scowling as he finished his meal in silence, angered by Kari’s manner towards him. When he heard the distinct sound of particular footsteps towards the terrace, he groaned audibly.

“Loki, brother, I see that you have been stood up.” Thor noted looking around.

“Indeed but I have not.” Loki scoffed in return.

Thor looked around confused. “Well none other than ourselves are here and her plate is left untouched.”

“She was here, but she has left.” Loki grumbled, not sure as to why he was telling Thor so much.

“So is she gone to the bathroom then? You should know better than to have started eating without her. Mother would admonish you for such a thing.” Loki stared out to the gardens with his elbow on the table and his finger to his lips as he shook his head in response. “Did you find her grotesque and sent her off?” 

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So the small pug is getting bigger. He’s almost as tall as me now (some may say too tall) but he’s nowhere near as round. I keep hearing the humans talk about fattening him up but as yet I have seen no evidence of extra treats. I guess once he isn’t small anymore I might have to start using his name?
My human has gone away again, this time she said she won’t be back until the weekend. She’s gone to the place with the other dogs, where I sometimes get to go. Apparently I can’t come because the small pug isn’t ready to have holidays yet. So now I’m staying at home with the other humans, babysitting the small pug, when I could be hanging out with two giant dogs with giant noses. And their super cool human who gives me all the snuggles. Stupid small pug. Hurry up and come home, human.

Truthful Tuesday

The trials and tribulations I have experienced since May of this year have made me realize how strong I am. I will figure out a way, always, even if it’s an uphill battle. If the shit that has happened to me makes my therapist depressed listening and tear up then you can only imagine what I have survived. Only a handful of people know the extent of everything that has happened to me this last year and I am thankful more than words can ever say to those who have checked on me, hugged me, gave me drugs and booze, talked to me and just listened as I cried until I fell asleep. I made it to the end, but not the same as I started, but I survived it.

This was my first Xmas without any of my family. I wasn’t prepared to deal with the emotions it brought out and how hard it was. I am thankful that my adopted family the Gays insisted that I spend the holidays with them, because I’m their family. I cried most of Xmas day from the surprises and treatment I received from them and Teejay’s family. I love them so much and I honestly don’t know where I’d be right now if they didn’t come into my life.

I’ve been eating a pretty Paleo/keto lifestyle for almost 2 months, even got my main gays to join me. I was feeling great and my lethargy was gone, but then everyone brought stuff to work for the holidays, and basically the processed crap and carbs have made me feel like instant shit again. I know now more then ever that the lifestyle I was on is the best for me. Fuck low fat, fat free and all processed crap, bring on my pure fat, animals and veggies forever more.

I have one more week off before class resumes and I haven’t started any of my work, because I’ve been working overtime lately. I don’t want to go back.

My roommate is bouncing in February and I can’t fucking wait. I might starve to death in order to pay the rent, but not having to deal with a filthy person will be worth it. After the shit he pulled when I had a dude over last week, our friendship is dissolved and I’ll be having a countdown until he’s gone, gone, gone.

I got myself a new chest piercing for passing fall semester and I plan on getting another below it after I pass spring. That mother fucking dermal was the most painful thing I’ve had done so far, but I’m already in love with it.

I’m ending this year with some people who love me, while I will be the only single person present I will be listing off the things I am grateful for at the stroke of midnight, as well as forgiveness for those who have hurt me. I plan on welcoming 2015 with gratitude and nothing but hope for what may come.