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Gone to the Dogs: Tenderfoots

It's not raining...let's walk!

                          It’s not raining…let’s walk!


Murphy sez:
Rain sucks. But only because J won’t take us walking in the rain. Well, and it’s cold and wet. But I don’t mind so much when it’s not too cold. I hate being cooped up inside though. A dog needs fresh air!

Mica sez: Yeah, I don’t much care for rain either, but I’d walk in the rain if J would take us. There’s totally a difference between just going in the backyard and taking a walk – walks are way better! Kinda hard on your feet though, eh Murph?

Murphy sez: Yeah, I don’t know how you handle those rough streets. After a week of walking with no sidewalks in most of our neighborhood, the sharp little rocks in the road just make me limp. That’s why I wasn’t excited to go on walks anymore – it hurt!

Mica sez: Well at least J finally noticed you limping on the chip-seal stuff. I’m sure she’ll find you some nifty shoes to wear so your feet don’t hurt soon. But she is letting you walk in the gutters for now. They’re smoother, anyways.

Murphy sez: I like walkin’ in the gutter, mostly. I get to smell all the plants and yards and stuff, and I’m closer to the stealth bunnies trying to be all sneaky-like. They can’t hide from me! Too bad J won’t let me go on the lawns after ‘em…

Mica sez: At least you get closer than I do. I wish I could walk on the inside sometimes. You get all the interesting smells! But at least we get to walk. Going from 2 miles a day to nothin’ when it’s raining is pretty brutal. Stupid rain.

Less walks = more tugs!

                            Less walks = more tugs!

Murphy sez: We tried not to drive J too nutty, but I think she was glad when we could walk Weds night. And then last night we went early to try to beat the rain…and got rained on. Which she blamed on me, sort of. I can’t help that I got my name from Murphy’s Law!

Do you think J will get you new shoes too, Mica? We’d be stylin’…if she could get ‘em on your feet. You might be able to handle the streets better than me, but man, you’re a big baby when it comes to getting your nails done. What was that on Saturday anyways? All that jumping around and not letting J trim your nails…

Mica sez: She’d better not get me shoes. Though she does make me wear boots when it’s super-cold out. But I don’t like ‘em. I don’t like anyone or anything touching my feet. Period. Not even just pets. But I did let J use the electric file on my nails. So I wasn’t completely unreasonable.

Good to rest after a nice walk in the rain...

                   Good to rest after a nice walk in the rain…

Murphy sez: Sure…after you were worn out from avoiding the clippers. You’ve got issues, Mica. Seriously. Your feet might feel better without those huge claws you’re sportin’. And if you don’t let J take care of them, she might take you to the vet like she’s been threatening for awhile now…

Mica sez: As long as she only uses the grinder, and not the clippers, that might be okay. I don’t like the sound of clipping. I blame you and B for all this. You got your toenails done all pretty-like at the groomer’s last week, and then B was making fun of J’s toenails last Saturday, so she decided that she had to do hers *and* mine.

She said she’s been neglecting her own feet and mine, so we gotta do pedicures every Saturday now, just like her weekly manicures. But she said she might just touch your toenails up too, so it’s not like you get a pass, Murph. I think she said something about lotion or oil or paw salve or something too. I’m tellin’ ya – it’s dangerous when she gets ideas in that head of hers…

Murphy sez: Well at least that waterless shampoo she bought for you smells pretty good. Watermelon-y. I’m not sure why she used it on me since I just got groomed and all, but now we smell like fruit instead of flowers. Yum!

I hope J can find me some red shoes to match my collar & leash…

Mica sez: I’m sure she’ll try, buddy. I’m sure she’ll try.

LazyMorning


Tune in next week for more Murphy & Mica! Or subscribe to get us in your inbox – use the subscription link in the right sidebar and pick “Gone to the Dogs”. Like these posts? Consider a donation to our favorite charities – the shelters that helped us when we needed it most! 

Murphy’s shelter: Donate to The Rimrock Humane Society
Mica’s shelter: Donate to Help for Homeless Pets

Gone to the Dogs: This & That

If the perfect bone exists, it's gotta be in this basket...

If the perfect bone exists, it’s gotta be in this basket…

 

Murphy sez: Hey – it’s Friday again! And we made it a whole week without fighting. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it Mica?

Mica sez: Sure is. Not that you could tell by the way you tore into your own leg the other night. What was that all about, anyways?

Murphy sez: I don’t know what came over me! One minute B let me lay outside in the sun and I was soaking it up after being housebound for two days ‘cause of the rain, and the next minute, J got home and I ran inside to see her and she was not amused by the blood. She bandaged me up though, and told B where to find the leggings so he could give me a thicker one when he gets home before her. I don’t normally chew through the thick ones, just those thin ones she was using for the daytime when I’m in my cone.

Mica sez: That’s some nasty habit you got there, Murph. Hopefully you can kick it someday. I mean, that kinda hurts, I bet. It was kind of a busy week though – maybe that’s why you got all chewy with your bad self. What with meeting J’s parents last weekend, and then the whole putting recycling out last Tuesday night…not to mention three late nights in a row where our routine was busted due to J’s lack of planning. No wonder you were kinda on edge.

So good I can't be still long enough for a picture.

So good I can’t be still long enough for a picture.

Murphy sez: You know it. J’s parents seem pretty nice though, and they’re calm, so that was a fun meeting. J should plan better, so we have her to ourselves late nights during the week. I mean, we’re usually sleeping while she’s writing her stories, but still. Routines are good. They make me feel all warm & fuzzy.

Mica sez: I think that’s the blankets you keep tunneling under at night. I don’t know how you stand it – it’s gotta be like five million degrees under there, and you’re snoozin’ away like it’s nothing. I bet you like that J’s been having to turn the air conditioning on in the afternoons lately, eh?

Murphy sez: You’re just jealous ‘cause I’m such a hot dog. Get it? Hot dog! And funny, too. Hey Mica, do you think that bunny we almost caught the other day will be out by that one house later tonight? He was only like two inches from my nose when he bolted in front of us. I think J should let us walk out at the end of the leashes so we can catch dinner. We’d be good hunters, don’t you think? And she’s mixing some raw food in with our kibble now anyways – we can contribute!

Less TV, more walkies, please!

Less TV, more walkies, please!

 

Mica sez: I don’t know about funny, but you’re definitely silly. And apparently you weren’t listening – J wasn’t real happy about the prospect of walking a couple of bloody dogs home if we get to unstuff one of those live stuffies. I’m thinking she’s not gonna give us much wiggle room on the leads. It would sure be more fun if J wasn’t such a control freak. Except that’s what gets you your routines, I s’pose.

Murphy sez: Yeah, I guess. I still think we could catch our own rabbit and squirrels. Those pesky squirrels are so smug, runnin’ up in their trees and watching us walk past like they own the world. Kinda like that Marvin-dog we met last Saturday through the neighbor’s fence. He’s kind of an odd-looking little dude…like a cross between a German Shepherd and a Dachshund or something. I tried to pee on him through the fence, but he was too quick. I’ll get him next time.

Mica sez: Yeah, I would’ve taken him on without the fence between us. That guy was asking for trouble, if you ask me. I don’t know why you were so calm about the whole thing, but I was willing to go along until the lady with him started yelling. I don’t even think she was mad, just loud, but man…it was kinda trippy. Probably a good thing J made me go inside so I couldn’t start something. Coulda been fun though.

Murphy sez: Nah…people are the only ones worth fighting over. Although we managed to contain ourselves the other night when the neighbor and his friend were out smokin’. Barely.

Mica sez: Just wait until this summer – he has parties almost every week. Lots of people to bark at – it’s good exercise, and the best part is, he doesn’t even care if we make noise. Although the other neighbors kinda might, on account of their kids. And J doesn’t care much for barking unless we’re actually trying to tell her something. I tell her all the time about people passing by outside, but she doesn’t seem interested in that either. Just people who knock on our door, and now we have that sign…

Murphy sez: You are kinda loud, dude. Maybe you should be quieter like me. I only bark when I want something – like when J’s mixing up our food, or when I need to go out. Or at the vacuum. Vacuums are evil.

Mica sez: You could write a whole post about evil vacuums, Murph. This post is getting kind of long though, and I think it’s time for you to go crawl into one of those blanket forts. We can talk about vacuums next week.

Murphy sez: Fine – if you say so. But I think we should share something useful. Like how to kill vacuums. Then we could be heroes! I need to think up a superhero name…

Bellies up!

Bellies up!


Tune in next week for more Murphy & Mica! Or subscribe to get us in your inbox – use the subscription link in the right sidebar and pick “Gone to the Dogs”. Like these posts? Consider a donation to our favorite charities – the shelters that helped us when we needed it most! 

Murphy’s shelter: Donate to The Rimrock Humane Society
Mica’s shelter: Donate to Help for Homeless Pets

Stuff I Could Say…

And here you thought last week’s post was late…

I could regal you with how busy life is right now as an excuse, I suppose, but you’d be bored (confession: I did start typing it out, and *I* was bored reading it back to myself), and then you’d fall asleep and hit your head on the keyboard, possibly imprinting a letter or two from the alphabet in that skin right above your eyebrows. So not cool.

I could tell you that I finished writing a draft this past Sunday, and you’d be all “YAY!” until I told you it was for one of my alter-egos, and then you’d be all “yay?” until I mentioned that this particular draft needs a *lot* of work before it will be even remotely ready to publish, and I need to write a novel to go with it as well, because the story is way, way bigger than I’d originally envisioned, and then you’d give me that side-eyed look that tells me you’re a little confused, getting bored again, and would love it if I’d just move on to another subject already, thankyouverymuch.

I could tell you about the flock of wild turkeys that were holding up traffic the other day (heck, I could show you that one, since I actually took a picture while stopped at a stop light, or you could save me the trouble of posting it here, and go check out my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page – feel free to friend or follow, I don’t bite. Much.). They were pretty much just…doing what turkeys do, wandering around probably looking for food. No, I didn’t hear any gobbling, but that’s probably the fault of Adelita’s Way and the excellent sound system in my Outback.

I could whine that there is no way I’m going to be able to finish watching the fourth season of Falling Skies before it leaves Amazon Prime in three days. Dammit. Dare I hope it’s leaving so they can put it on Netflix? I was never a huge fan of Noah Wylie until I stumbled over this series, and now I have a bit of a crush on his character. Then again, I’ve always had a soft spot for the strong-yet-reserved history professor types…

I could mention the giant pumpkin demon that hangs over the table where I sit while hubby and his gang are playing pool on Wednesday nights. His long arms grab at me every time I brush by (can’t keep his bony hands off me, the lech), and the flowing robe effectively blocks my view of the table and game play. He does create quite an effective cave-like setting though, which seems to give me good writing mojo. I should do that awkward selfie thing before they take him down, eh? Is it a selfie if I don’t actually take the picture myself? Hmm…probably better not risk looking like one of those self-absorbed teenie-boppers…

I could probably make you hungry by mentioning that I have a pork roast in the crockpot for dinner, and butternut squash in the other crockpot. Mentioning the Brussels sprouts in the third crockpot might lose some of you though (which is really too bad – they’re excellent, IMO). Maybe if I posted a picture of the whole stalk of sprouts I found at the grocery store this past Sunday? I mean, even if you don’t like sprouts, you have to admit, a whole stalk of sprouts is pretty cool lookin’. But…I’m lazy, and I already posted a pic on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook last weekend. Are you seriously telling me you don’t cyber-stalk me? I’m hurt. sniff

I suppose since we’re talking sprouts (and cyber-stalking, which is only mildly more interesting), I should mention bacon just to wake you back up. What’s that you say? Bacon, sausage and all other processed meats are unhealthy and cause cancer? Um, yeah. Duh. Now you’re boring me. Pass the sausage, and some maple syrup to dip it in, please? Waffles are just incidental (though still good). It’s all about the meat, really. *snicker*

One last thing: Bacon. You’re welcome.


 

Mental Calisthenics

A modge-podge of things this week, because my brain’s been bouncing all over the place this weekend. That’s what happens when I manage not to stress or obsess about anything – my poor mind doesn’t know what to do, and starts looking for something to focus on/obsess over. It doesn’t really handle “free time” too well…

Something I have been sort of obsessing over in the back of my head for quite some time now (years, in fact) is summed up very nicely in this blog post at Brain Pickings:

In Praise of Missing Out: Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips on the Paradoxical Value of Our Unlived Lives

Yes, the title is a mouthful (eyeful?), and if that intimidates you, you probably want to skip the article. For those interested though, it basically talks about how we’re constantly thinking about the paths we didn’t choose – ie, when we choose one thing, it means we don’t choose another…and humans generally give at least some thought to the “Option B’s” we leave behind (or don’t, in some cases). I know I often think about the “other lives” I’d live if I’d made a different choice at once crossroads or another, and in some cases, I struggle with it. This post actually kind of made me relieved that it’s not just me…and I ordered a copy of Phillips’ book which I’m very much looking forward to reading.

I also loved this post by KD Sarge this weekend, because it’s just…so very, very true:

Procrastination Bites

Also, I’m really not fond of cupcakes. The cake part is generally okay, but I really am not big on frosting (or anything that sugary), and it seems like most cupcakes are all frosting. Way too sweet for my taste.

Amusingly enough, KD’s post made me feel like I should clean my shower this weekend (a couple mentions of pulling hair out of the drain), but in a hilarious twist, I didn’t actually do that. Instead, I procrastinated on that particular project by reorganizing two drawers in my kitchen. Because that makes perfect sense, right?

An interesting post by the always funny Perry Block shed some light on why my husband’s attitude on tattoos has always been…lukewarm at best (he was born in the 60’s, which Perry explains was still the wild-west of body art:

Tattoo Breakthrough

When I got my first tat, they were just starting to become more trendy, but they were still a sort of “badge of rebelliousness” and a tribute to how tough you were, and I’ve always been sort of a laid-back rebel. The kicker with tattoos is (and anyone who has one will tell you this), they’re very addictive. You get one, and all you can think about is your next one. I stopped after the fourth for awhile out of respect for my husband’s dislike of them, but I still thought about what I’d get next. It was a good decade until dear hubby put me out of my misery and encouraged me to go get that next one, and I knew exactly what I wanted, and where. I’m already planning my next appointment, probably sometime in September.

And finally, this enlightening post gave me an epiphany about my attitude towards phone calls:

Phone-Reluctant Introvert 

I don’t hate them like this person does, but I struggle with them, and this post does an excellent job of explaining why. For me, it’s not even the intrusion so much as the fact that I simply cannot communicate well when my auditory system is the only one involved. I do hate calling people when I know it’s a cell phone, for precisely the fact that I know people will feel obligated to answer, and I hate the idea of interrupting people while they are shopping or working or…not somewhere it’s convenient to take a call. With landlines, I know if they aren’t home, they’re busy and I can just leave a message and it wasn’t an intrusion. With a cell, I’m always afraid they’re doing something else, and I’m butting in on whatever that is, and the sense of manners and politeness that was drilled into me as a child is just completely mortified by that knowledge. So I rarely call cell numbers outside of work (and then only when people tell me to call them there) – only when I have absolutely no other choice.

This is why I don’t have a voice cell plan either – my cell only has data, and I use Google voice for free texting. If people want to call me, they have to call my landline, and if I’m busy or out, I don’t answer, and if they don’t leave a message, I assume it’s not important and they don’t need a call back. When I am talking on the phone, I’m pacing and moving and “doing things”, as the blog post author writes. It helps me focus on the conversation, which really is interesting, I think.

Email, text, or some form of social media is generally the best way to communicate with me, though I understand that not all people are like that, and I do try to accommodate others when I can…or at least meet them half-way on the way they like to communicate best. I certainly don’t expect everyone to just cater to my needs, but it’s still fascinating to know that my communication style is probably inherent to my personality.

So there you have it…just a few of the things that have caught my attention recently. Never a dull moment in the gray matter, I tell you what…

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On Beautiful Things

I took some pictures late last week to illustrate today’s post, and then decided at the last minute (12:12am, to be exact), not to use them. The fact is, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, and the things I think are beautiful, you may or may not, and if you do, it may well be for an entirely different reason than mine.

I started thinking about things I consider “beautiful” and why when I was admiring some pottery at our local renaissance fair a week ago or so. I was thinking about how the different artist’s work affected me differently, and some “spoke” to me more or less than others. I have some theories that still need to percolate before I try to express them, but the overreaching truth is, it matters who handles the clay. And that’s not to say any of it is better or worse than any other piece, but merely to say that what makes a piece of pottery beautiful to me personally is more than anything I could actually describe satisfactorily.

I have been trying for days to put words to what called me to the tiny little brown pot/vase that now sits on my desk at work. I could tell you that it’s the lines of the piece, the gentle curve that leads gracefully up to a longish neck, or the glaze that somehow came out in the subtlest of pinstripes that give the piece dimension and movement. I could even tell you it’s the imperfections, the little mistakes that maybe happened during firing or when something was jarred in transit and marred the glaze.

The fact is though, it’s all and none of those things all at once that I find attractive about that tiny little pot. There is a quality about it that maybe wouldn’t draw the attention of anyone else, but every time I look at it, it’s almost mesmerizing to me. Does it have that effect on other people? Probably. But certainly not all.

This past Saturday, my mom and I were perusing the local Strawberry Festival vendors, and there was an older lady there selling her tole painting pieces. Most of it was stuff that…looked to me like most other chairs and tables and platters and such, but then on our second pass through, I saw a wooden box that for whatever reason, I found incredibly, undeniably attractive. There’s really nothing special about the pattern or painting, but I find it soothing and restful to look at, and it puts me in a calm, relaxed state of mind just to see it. I bought it, of course, and my mom brought up the fact that sometimes, we just have to surround ourselves with things we find beautiful, even if we have no other practical use for them (like my tiny pot – I’ll use the wooden box for stamps).

I don’t really have a point to all this, but it did make me think about what we perceive as “beautiful” or “attractive” vs what other people see. The filters we all bring to the table with us are so incredibly complex that it’s amazing any of us ever agree on anything as far as beautiful and/or attractive.

In any case, I’ll be writing a book this fall where beauty and what it is is the central theme, and I can’t help but wonder whether my character and I will agree on what is beautiful and what is…not. It should be a very interesting and intense journey we take together…


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On Short Weeks, “This City”, & Wet Socks…

Monday was a holiday here in the states for many of us, or a day of remembering, in any case. There were still plenty of people who had to work, but I was off, thus my laziness in getting this post up and out.

I actually don’t care much for four-day work weeks, to be honest. Everything just seems that much more…immediate, which means the whole week feels hectic and strained. If they were the “norm”, then I’m sure we’d all adjust and having three days off every week would be really nice (though with IT, there’s always a chance of having to work – nature of the 24/7 beast). But since our current norm is a 5-day week, the shortened ones just feel to crammed with stuff. To me, anyways.

Tomorrow will be a short day for me too, because I have two hours in the dentist chair to look forward to at the end of the day. I need to leave work by 3:30pm, and then I’ll be in the chair from 4-6pm while the dentist preps two of my teeth for crowns. I know, I know. The excitement just never stops with my teeth…

Good winter TV finally ran out, and we’ve been watching Daredevil on Netflix – actually, we just finished the first season. It was good…dark and bloody, but exactly the kind of hero I like who’s constantly wrestling with that line between good and evil, and occasionally stepping over it out of necessity. I like Arrow for the same reason, and The Flash for different reasons entirely, but there’s one thing that absolutely drives me *nuts* about these shows, and it’s kind of a trademark thing.

The phrase “this city” just bugs the crap out of me every time I hear a hero or villain utter it (and yes, all three of the aforementioned shows are guilty).

I think it’s because it’s overused. It’s such a constant thing that I just get tired of hearing it. It sounds cheesy and limiting and just…too narrow-minded for a person with such weighty philosophical concerns and that requisite hero…uh…complex.

Or it could just be that it’s horribly overused and I get tired of hearing it spoken in what seems like every other line. I feel like I’m getting beaten over the head with the mantra…it’s wearisome.

In other news, I finished my first knitted sock this week, and I’m pretty proud of it. I need to figure out how to make the ribbing tighter, and I could use a little work with the closing, but other than that, I’m very happy with how it turned out, and looking forward to making a second to match.

And then I need to remember to take my nice, hand-knitted socks off when I venture out into the kitchen. My dogs cannot seem to keep the water in their bowls contained to either the bowl or their mouths. It’s crazy how much of a swimming pool the kitchen floor is near their bowls, and that happens to be the main thoroughfare to the back door and into the rest of the kitchen. Since I often wear socks in the house (it has to be incredibly warm for me not to), this means I generally have damp socks on my feet throughout the evening.

I changed socks twice tonight just because I was sick of them being wet, and then one of the dogs needed out again not five minutes after the first change.

Yes, I should get some good slippers, which would solve that problem. One of these days, I might even actually do that…

Here’s hoping the short week treats you well…or at least somewhat gently!


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On…Random Stuff

Monday was rough. Part of it was me not being properly prepared because I didn’t use my weekend wisely (take this post, for example…). Part of it was just me being an idiot (the last couple hours of the workday, mostly). All in all, it added up to a day I’d rather just forget, though parts of it are going to spill over into Tuesday by necessity. But my Tuesdays generally suck, so no big surprise there. I expect them to be bad, so I go into Tuesday pretty much resigned to the fact that whatever’s going to happen, will, and surviving the day is all I can really reasonably ask of myself.

A couple of groovy things that happened this weekend:

I turned the heel on the sock I’m knitting and started decreasing the gusset

FirstSocks

I got a bunch of fun stamps from the Monthly Postcard Exchange

IrelandStampPackage

A third groovy thing for the week: Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!

Now, I’m off to bed because it’s past my bedtime yet again, and I’m gonna need my wits about me tomorrow…

Here’s hoping your week’s off to a much better start than mine!


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On Jasmine, Change Cycles, & Spoiled Wine…

A couple of weeks ago, I found two jasmine vines at the grocery store (in the plant department, of course). I love jasmine, but I tend to have a hard time growing it as a houseplant. Most of the time, that stops me from buying, but there were only two, and it’s pretty rare to find it around here at all, and in a moment of weakness, I brought one home.

Jasmine_April2015

Jasmine plant with dying leaves & new shoots.

I wasn’t really all that surprised when leaves started to shrivel up and die, even though I paid pretty close attention to it and took care not to over-water it or let it dry out. I figured that would happen, but it did kind of bum me out that it happened so quickly. Still, I kept it, because sometimes plants go through an adjustment period where they act like they’re gonna die and then spring back to life just because their environment changed.

Sure enough, a couple days later, I spotted new vines coming up among the dying ones. And this week as I was doing my Sunday “plant check”, I noticed that the new vines don’t seem to be dying. Yet.

I don’t really consider this “pessimism” – more just “realism”. I’ve killed enough of these plants to know that the chances of keeping one alive long-term aren’t good. At the same time, my naturally optimistic nature really, really wants to believe that this time, this one will be “the one” that I grow into a beautiful, healthy, strong jasmine vine that will eventually bloom and set off my allergies like crazy (life tends to balance like that…).

The whole changing of the leaves/out with the old/in with the new is relevant in many ways to my life right now, from the day job, to the writing, and a bunch of matching internal philosophical upheaval. Things and thoughts evolving and sometimes even going in directions I didn’t really see coming. With the changes come many decisions to make and…”things” that must be dealt with. It’s normally a stressful time, and there’s really no way out but through.

This current cycle of change seems different though, somehow. It’s still a bit stressful and I’ve fallen way behind, but mentally I feel like I’m keeping things in better perspective, which is helping me to cope in a healthier, more “zen” manner. Yes, I still feel the stress, but there’s this underlying calm as well that keeps me focused on what could be if I can hang in there and get to the other side. Change will never be my friend…I love stability and routines far too much for that. But at this particular point in my life, I feel like I’m able to embrace this time for what it is: a period of transition that will eventually yield to a positive outcome.

Or so I hope, anyways.

Unlike the wine we bought a few weeks ago to restock our wine cooler. I left the box of several bottles on the dining room table, because I hadn’t gotten around to adding them to my stock list yet. I finally got them added and we opened one up last week and…it was horrible. Another and another and another and…you get the idea. All different wines and labels, all apparently ruined by sitting for a week in the hot sun that comes in my southern dining room window.

Mea culpa. Needless to say, we went and bought yet another “stock” for the cooler this weekend, and I got them cataloged and into the cooler post haste. Often my laziness leads to more efficient means of doing things, but in this case, it just led to a bunch of spoiled wine. A sad, somewhat expensive lesson to learn, but I won’t be lazy putting the wine away again!

I know I’ve been skimping on the blog posts lately, and it’s because every spare moment I get lately, I’ve been spending either recovering from a mentally exhausting day, or working on drafts (sometimes both). Things are settling down a bit though, and I’m hopeful that this week I’ll have more mental energy to spare, which will enable me to get back on the blogging wagon, so to speak. I hope. If that does happen, watch for a special announcement coming this Friday (if you don’t see it, you can safely assume I’m just brain-dead again this week – it’ll happen eventually!).


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On Life, Writing, & Pressure Valves…

Before I forget, I need to announce the winners of the Flame & Stone Newsletter Prize Packages (this month’s newsletter should be in your inbox by now):

Congratulations to
Lorraine Richmond & Dolly Garland!

You’ll both be hearing from me by email this evening, ladies. Thanks for being subscribers! 🙂

There’s a BeauTEAful Summer Tea-Themed prize package up for grab next month, and it’s only for newsletter subscribers. If you’re not signed up, what are you waiting for?

Now to answer the question I’m sure is on everyone’s mind…

Yes, yes we did get the new dishwasher. And installed it over the course of two nights. And about 20 minutes of my Saturday too, finishing up the hose & electrical box hangings. Which sounds far more interesting than it actually was.

Life sort of took a not-so-unexpected-yet-still-unwelcome turn last week, leaving me very little energy (mental or physical) at the end of each day. It’s a temporary situation as they generally are – things always tend to find a way to come back to some sort of balance eventually. The annoying thing about being worn down that far is that there’s no room for anything else until the mind’s had a chance to rest. Including writing.

I get crabby when I don’t write, and not just because between that cold I had and these “things” going on, I’m extremely behind on several deadlines at this point. I know it all sounds like excuses because they do to me too, but that doesn’t solve the issue of just having no brain power left to do one more thing. Doesn’t make it any less frustrating either.

But the main reason I get crabby when I don’t write is that writing is an outlet for me. It’s like a pressure-valve, and when the pressure builds up too high, it gets rather uncomfortable. Even worse, when it’s been a few days since the valve has been open, it gets cold and hard to open at all.

And last week, I barely got a chance to even look at the valve, much less open it. (Okay, that got a little weird. Sorry.)

Anyways, my main goal for this week is to make a point to “release the pressure” at least once a day, regardless of the chaos that the next five days are very likely to bring. Of course surprises will happen, and there’s nothing I can do about that except to just deal with them one-by-one and hope there aren’t too many left to be sprung. But the more organized I am, and the clearer picture I have of what needs to be done when, the better I can deal with curve-balls, and that’s what determines how much mental energy I have left at the end of the day.

As you might imagine, I’ve been prioritizing and scheduling all weekend long in the hopes of getting out in front of things this week. My control-freak nature freaking right out. Don’t mind her. She does that occasionally…

Actually, she’s been screaming at me for the last 15 minutes that I really need to go to bed and get some sleep so I can roll with whatever happens.

She’s always a pain in the butt, but sometimes she’s right…

I wish you a non-chaotic, boring week. Or if you happen to run into chaos, by all means, feel free to keep her/him/it/whatever…I certainly don’t need her back.


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On Piercings, Goldfish, & Eye Drops…

A friend I’ve never met in person asked me last week if I had pierced ears. I thought it was an interesting question, because it was unexpected. Partially because I don’t know many people who don’t have pierced ears in this day and age. But also because I consider her a close friend, which means I don’t often think about the fact that we’ve never actually seen each other in person, and thus wouldn’t know the answer to things that normally we’d find out via sight, rather than conversation.

Like, for instance, the fact that anyone who looks at my left ear will see one pierced earring in the normal spot, and six more marks running up the side of my ear where I use to wear a sparkly assortment of rhinestone studs on a 24/7 basis (and a titanium hoop in the very top hole). My right ear has three holes in it, though I’ve only used the bottom one since I cut my hair short. Because I wore earrings constantly for so many years, most of those holes are still open, and could still be used if I had a mind to. Cartilage is fun like that.

Yes, it was really cold in the winter. Yes, I slept with all those studs in my ear. Maybe that’s why I normally sleep on my right side, eh? The thing is, piercings were something I could get without parental approval after I was 16 or so, and I used it as a way to express my creative side. Of course for my 18th birthday, I got my navel pierced, and had that particular piercing until it grew out just a few years back. When I was 22 or so, I went and got a piercing in a somewhat more sensitive part of my body. To read more about that, check out alter-ego Trinity’s post on Thursday… 😉

No, I have no plans to get anymore piercings. Unlike tattoos, that’s not a compulsion for me. I’m content just using my two original ear piercings at this point in my life. Most mornings I don’t even have time to change those, though I would like to make more of a point to do that. I have some really great earrings I never wear because I’m just too lazy. Which is silly.

In other news, I’ve finally decided to get my fancy goldfish a tankmate. I’ve struggled with this a long time as his 20 gal. tank is really only large enough for one and I really don’t have room to upgrade, but I think that all things being equal, he’d probably prefer a shorter, more social life to a longer lonely one. So next weekend, I’ll be picking out a buddy for him (and hoping they get along!). We’ll see how it goes…

And in even better news, I’ve finally found a brand of eye drops that really helps *a lot* with my watery, rebellious eyes. After trying nearly every supermarket/drugstore brand and ending up with an infection for my trouble (and no good solution for my problem), I stumbled across a homeopathic brand (Similasan) at our local health food store, and I can’t tell you how great it is to just be able to see again. It doesn’t stop the problem completely, but well enough that I can function pretty normally, and that is worth the bottle’s weight in gold. So…hooray for homeopathics!

Little o’this, little o’that today, I know, but that’s sort of how my head’s been running lately. And now it’s telling me to get some sleep, because tomorrow’s bound to be an interesting (as almost all Mondays are).

If you have a few minutes and are so inclined, do tell: Are your ears pierced? Do you have a goldfish? Do you have a favorite brand of eyedrops?

Inquiring minds, and all that…


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