Thursday, February 28, 2019

thankfulness Thursday

I feel like it's time for a bit of update and thankfulness.

1.  It's  not freezing, currently.
It's a lovely morning with blue skies and mild temperatures.  We've had our share of snow and ice and cold and muck, which just makes me grateful for days like today in late February.  Not only is it nice to see the sun and spend comfortable time outside, it's nice for...

2. Getting fresh air on the pooch...

Penny the poochkin is about 6 months old now and a 20-pound powerhouse!  She's the smallest dog we've ever had, but don't be fooled by that little body!  So it's nice to get her outside so she can take me for a walk.  I'm really looking forward to taking her hiking once the trails are less muddy and she's gotten better at leash etiquette.  In the meantime...

3.  Potato training is going well too

The cat is an adept teacher.  He puts the "Nap" in Napolion.

4.  My wonderful, intelligent, polite, articulate tutees.
I have about ten students in my current "rotation", and with the exception of the strange mother/daughter thing I mentioned earlier, they're a nice bunch of hard working teens and young adults.  I realize that's been my typical experience, so a good bizarre situation serves as a reminder to be grateful.  

On that note, I did get a summons of sort this week from the bizarre one.  I was careful to ask for "evidence" of her needing a session - something I've NEVER requested before because it's a given, right??  I also asked that she cancel if things change - again, who needs to ask for this??

Later that evening, I got the follow-up cancellation.  Hallelujah.  Who knows what "switched around".  I'm starting to wonder if the mom was with her and told her to schedule when she initially texted, and then she cancelled later, in private.  

But who really knows?  It does serve as a reminder to appreciate the others!

And lastly, 

5.  More pet appreciation
Chaco and his girlfriend lost their dog, Calli.  ("lost" as in, she died).
Calli was a big beautiful Husky - the girlfriend's dog, and the two of them came as a package deal.  She'd had some recent health issues of which the vet hadn't pinned down the source, only ruled some things out.  Now, after the fact, it looks like she likely had a brain tumor 😢

So I'm grateful for pets in general and for getting to know Calli a little. She had a regalness about her, in that she seemed to know that she was a big, beautiful Husky, and we were honored by her presence.  Rest In Peace.

Linking up again this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
5. List your five most recent favorite things.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

doing poorly

This week's prompt at Illustration  Friday is "Fairy Tale", so I drew this castle, thinking of those fairy tales that involve a castle involving some sweet virgin girl held captive in an inaccessible castle tower by some sinister being.  For example:  Rapunzel, and.... Rapunzel?  HELP ME OUT HERE.

Oh well, good enough, which brings me to today's topic.  I recently read a short article encouraging the art of doing things poorly.  The article was aimed at perfectionists or those with perfectionist tendencies.

I wouldn't say I'm a perfectionist.  No, I can think of examples where I've been perfectly happy with my own mediocrity.

Really, the gist of the article was to encourage at least doing something because something is better than nothing.  Perfectionists (apparently) typically take an all-or-nothing approach to activities, so if there's risk of failure, they won't even begin.

The article did not necessarily encourage this behavior where safety, etc. is concerned.  It was more about not getting down on ourselves for not feeling up to doing something we know we should do.

  • Said you'd get up and run 5 miles but don't feel like it?  Go out and run or walk one mile. Or one block.
  • Planned to declutter and organize your desk, but all those papers - ugh!  Clean out one drawer.
  • Intended to cook a balanced, tasty meal but not feeling like shopping, etc?  Throw a chicken in the crock pot and call it good.
  • And so on.

Monday, I went back to the gym since I lost that fight with the ground a couple weeks ago.  My shoulder and rib are much better, but not quite 100%.  I went to the gym and did a few things poorly, and it felt good.

Today, I will do other things.  I will do at least some of them poorly.  And I don't need to do much for dinner because there are leftovers from that chicken I threw in the crock pot earlier.

Putting anything off because the task seems too daunting?  
What's one thing you can do poorly today?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

who are you?

Last weekend, Magnum and I watched the movie "Split".  For those unfamiliar with it, it involves a character with multiple personalities.  It's interesting and creepy.  I liked it, but on a side note, I have quite the celebrity crush on James McAvoy and will watch just about anything he's in.

Anyways, the story involves the multi-personalitied guy's benevolent therapist.  She begins receiving urgent emails from one of the personalities, Barry, wanting to set up extra therapy appointments.  Therapist sets up the appointments, but each time Barry arrives, he says something flippant like, "Oh, I dunno, I just had a weird moment, but all's good now.  See you next week at our regular time..."

This happens several times, and eventually the kindly therapist realizes that there IS something up and that it's not Barry that's coming to the appointments, but rather, it's the devious Dennis impersonating personality Barry and saying everything's hunky doory!  All the while, poor Barry is in there sending her these urgent emails! (Follow?)

So it was entertaining in a thriller kind of way.  But I mention it here because... dun dun duuuuuuun...
I swear it's happening to me! HELP

Several weeks ago, a mom contacted me about tutoring her daughter.  I've since met with the daughter four or five times - it's all kind of a blur - and EVERY time I meet with her, EVERYTHING'S FINE!

She doesn't have any questions about anything.  She doesn't even bring class materials with her. She's personable enough and wants to talk about all kinds of things - most of which I'm not remotely interested in - that have nothing to do with her class. And I'm all, "then why the f...".

I've told them that she's not at all obligated to meet with me every week, just call or text when there's something she needs extra help with, and we'll schedule it, etc.  So I get a call or a text from Mom, I show up, and NOTHING!

This happened again yesterday, and I'm so ready to just be done with these people.  I think Mom thinks daughter needs lots of help, daughter doesn't think she needs much help, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  They probably fight over this the way moms and teenage daughters sometimes do, so I hear.

Or MAYbe...

... it's really just one person.

Mom personality texts me, and daughter personality takes over and shows up for the appointment to assure me that everything is fine, and can we just talk about friends and weird teachers and what she did over the weekend?

Come to think of it, the fist time I met with Daughter, Mom said she would come along to meet me.  But she ended up not coming to that or any other appointment.  I've never spoken to her in person or seen the two of them together *GASP!*

Or, have I??

Things did not end well for the kindly therapist.  Just sayin'...


Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
3. Write a blog post inspired by the word: challenge

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

welcome to the club, Travis

It was as if the world had stopped in that moment.  I went from enjoying a lovely morning like most others to suddenly becoming aware of my mortality. Was this really how my life was going to end?

The beast charged me with a focus I can't put into words.  I hardly had any time to react, and he was on me, plunging his teeth and squeezing his vice-like jaws of death into my flesh.

As the blood drained from my body, Good-bye... good-bye... I'll miss you all...


But I survived.  Miraculously.  My will to survive was stronger than anything that ferocious beast had for me.  Yes, I am one of those rare people who've been attacked by a wild ferocious animal and lived to tell about it... Travis Kauffman, that guy who killed a mountain lion with his bare hands while out trail running a few weeks ago.  I think his story made national news, but it was pretty big around here.  Like many others, I found myself imagining what that must have been like.  Like many others, I like to spend time traipsing around in the boonies.  Like many others, I've been in the area where the incident happened.

But hey, I don't have to just use my imagination.  The exact same thing happened to me!  I blogged about it, even!  Right [HERE]!

And yet, no news outlets wanted to hear my account.  No memes were made about me.


Fine. I don't want the attention anyway.  But I just thought I'd post this reminder to myself.

Wilderness /suburbs, mountain lion / Lhasa Apso .  It's all pretty much the exact same thing, right?

Monday, February 18, 2019

the land of misfits and toys

We had a rather uneventful weekend, and I'm not complaining.  I continue to improve from my "winter sport" injury.  The winter sport:  just walkin' around.  Oh well, as I remember, the last time I was similarly injured, it happened while I was hanging laundry, so there's that.

This week's prompt at Illustration Friday is "Electronic".  As I've been organizing and tidying, I'm unearthing a few old things like inoperable toys.  RC car parts anyone?

As I've been focused on discarding things, I've also been abstaining from acquiring new stuff.  I did break down last week and get a new case for my drawing toys.  I justified it by getting rid of an old case that made for a disorganized mess.

As I shopped online for the new case, I naturally read the reviews.  It soon became apparent that a good number of reviews were written by adolescents.  Fine, such are my hobby peers.  I like the case though, so thanks, kids.

Today is quite wintry outside.  Most schools are closed for the holiday, but kids (my peers?) would probably have gotten snowday otherwise.  I was thinking I might fit in some time at the gym since my range of motion has improved from a week ago when putting on my socks could count as a "workout".

       Back outside?

            Or inside among the furs?

Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

am I an outlier (weirdo)?

My first mistake was telling him I own a car.

Yes, I have a car.  It's all paid for.  We, in fact, have three vehicles that are fully paid for.  "My" car was actually given to me from my parents when it was no longer safe for them to drive themselves... actually, Mom gave up driving long after it was "safe" IMHO, but anyway... I gratefully took over ownership of the grandma car a few years ago.

It's a 2000 Toyota Echo.  Very economical, not so good in snow or anything else that requires much ground clearance, but it's perfect for what I use it for - running errands around town.  Kelly Blue Book says it's worth about $1,000 - $1,500.
Ooooh... fancy!

Magnum drives the Element for work, and we have a Honda Civic we got for Meego to learn to drive a stick. Boom, three vehicles.

My main mode of transportation is my bicycle, no big news there.  I also prefer to walk if it's practical.  In short, I use the car as a last resort.  I do this in the name of sustainability.  I prefer to not be a part of traffic congestion if I can help it, plus I enjoy walking and bicycling.  But it still makes sense for me to have a car for certain things.

I have a tutor student I meet with at a local community college.  There is a convenient bus route to said community college that runs from a stop that is a pleasant 15-minute walk from my house.  There is no safe bike route to get to the CC, so the bus route is a perfect alternative for me.  Yes, I could drive in my car and be part of the traffic congestion and add to the already existing parking headache at the college, but I prefer not to drive myself and a small backpack to and from.

Yesterday, I was on the bus, and the bus driver started making conversation with me.  I don't even remember how it came up, but I mentioned that I have a car.  He couldn't understand why I would ride the bus if I have a car, despite my telling him it was very convenient for me - hey, I'm giving kudos to his employer and justifying his job!

I guess he automatically assumed that my car must be a POS, I'm stupid, and I'm also impoverished because he spent the next 10 minutes or so of the bus ride mansplaining to me how to buy a car.  I didn't tell him that I didn't want/need to buy a car, that I'm not stupid enough to not know how to buy a car, and that I'm also not too poor to buy a car.  I let him go on talking in the hopes that he would stop.  That didn't work. In hindsight I should have told him all of the above.  I still don't know if that would have shut him up.  Plus, I was trying to be "nice" since he is the one driver I know of on that college route, so I figured I would be running into him again.

If anything, it was a reminder to me to try to not make wrong assumptions about people.  I've had other bicycle commuters tell me that they've had people try to give them handouts because the people assume an adult on a bicycle and not dressed in spandex must be poor and/or homeless.

I've noted here in the blog that I often pass panhandlers while I'm on my bicycle.  They never ask me for money, although I have been asked for weed.  An adult on a bicycle and not dressed in spandex must be poor and a pothead?

Ever wrongly assumed something about someone?  Had someone make wrong assumptions about you?

Monday, February 11, 2019

you had a hold on me right from the start...

The prompt this week for Illustration Friday is "Fire".

I had a somewhat busy morning, followed by a blissfully unbusy afternoon

I was feeling sorry for myself because my boob rib hurts and my shoulder hurts from losing a fight with the ground yesterday while doing an extreme sport:  walking home from Kum & Go.

So I did ink and puppy therapy, and now I feel better.

How was your Monday?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

my name is not Stacy, and ice is hard

Saturday was our local shindig to celebrate the founders of P.E.O., aptly named "Founders Day".  We do it every year on the 1st or 2nd Saturday of February, when all the area P.E.O. chapters (there are 13 chapters in our local reciprocity) gather and pay homage to the seven founders.

Here's a group photo my chapter snagged.  Girls Gone Wild or what??

When I arrived and checked in, my name tag was nonexistent.  The check-in ladies took my word for it and let me in with a fancy name tag... I made for myself with a Sharpie.  A few minutes later, one of them had hunted me down (there were about 300 partiers in the banquet hall) so that the head check-in lady could figure out what happened with my registration.

"Oh, you're name's not Stacy", the hunter said.

And I was all, "Uhm... no"

For some reason, she'd had it in her mind that name tagless person was named Stacy, but "Good thing I remembered what you looked like!"

Yes, good for her.  Got it cleared up and the rest of Founder's Day went on without hitch.

A little earlier today, Magnum and I went out for our Sunday stroll.  We were walking along a stretch of MUP (that's "multi-use path") that is notoriously neglected when it comes to snow removal.  As such, there are several patches of ice along the path.

As we were walking across one of the ice patches, I suddenly slammed into the ground.  I don't even know why.  I don't think I slipped on the ice, but rather, I think some obstacle was lodged in the ice and I tripped over it.

I'm sure it was all very graceful (not).  I landed face-forward with my right arm bent a bit and crossed in front of my body - my right shoulder and elbow taking the brunt of the impact.  Initially, I felt a sharp pain in one of my right boob ribs - that would be a rib in the chest area - but glad to say there's no lingering pain.  I've had cracked ribs before and they're a b*tch.

I lay there for a bit on the cold hard ice to catch the wind that had been knocked out of me, not because the cold hard ice was comfortable at all.  There was really nothing Magnum could do but wait for me to gather myself, so that's what he did, and we were eventually on our way, making it back without further mishap.

Now I'm recalling that Margaret fell while walking through snow recently.  Shortly afterward, all her computer files mysteriously disappeared because of her corrupt "Margaret" file.

Think I'll go do a quick backup.  My "Abby" file or my "Stacy" file is probably corrupt...  The ice has spoken.

Friday, February 8, 2019

the dead stuff behind me

All the plants are dead.  There I said it.  Well, I typed it.

But the first part of recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Here's the thing.  A few years ago, Meego got a pet King Snake.  He was a cool King Snake, and Meego named him Reese because he was the colors of chocolate and peanut butter.

Reese was fun to have around.  He liked to hug.  He liked to hug because he was a constrictor, not necessarily because he was cuddly and loving, but technically, he was at least quite cuddly.

He was also fun to have around for science's sake.  We fed him dead mice and would have to make the mice seem to be alive so Reese would instinctively "kill" and eat them.  As he grew, Reese would shed his skin, an event that was always cause for excitement.

We were able to acquire a good sized tank from a friend down the street.  The friend had also owned a snake and fed the snake actual live mice.  One mouse was quite the survivor, however, and ended up killing the pet snake - from the inside out, I understand!  That fact isn't necessarily pertinent to my story here, but thought I'd include it for the shock value.

We took over the tank for Reese, Meego lovingly landscaped it, and Reese happily did his snake stuff in his warm, roomy digs...

...until one day when he escaped from his feeding box.  We haven't seen him since.

See, we would feed him the pretend alive mice in a separate box from the tank since snakes will instinctively strike at anything moving nearby.  By feeding them in a container different from their "living room", they become conditioned to not strike when someone reaches into their living space for some cuddle time.

Wolfgang and Chaco had just recently moved back home during summer break from college.  There were boxes and college boy things scattered about.  When Meego went to put Reese back in his tank after a feeding, there was a telltale hole in the feeding box, and Reese was nowhere to be seen.  Ah, that fateful day.

We never found him.  I hope he escaped into the yard and has been sowing his oats with the neighbor snakes.

A couple of years ago, Meego and I decided to turn the big tank into a big terrarium. It was desert themed with sand and succulents. Despite having hardly ANY natural light, I'd hoped the sun lamp we had for Reese would suffice.

So much for hopes.

The tank is still there, a house of dead plants.  It sits behind me as I type.  It sits in the background when I tutor online, but thankfully, the video image is relatively small and the student's image somewhat covers the tank of death. No one has yet asked, "what is that tank of dead things behind you?"

But I know it's there.

I'm wondering if I should move it to where there would be better lighting, clean it out, and retry?  I've never had much of a green thumb, and will not bother trying to grow marijuana.

Suggestions are welcome... aside from growing pot.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

almost empty

I vaguely recall that, several years ago, I posted about our prepper efforts.  "Preppers", those strange people that are at the ready for an apocalypse? 

Well, okay, we've not been quite that extreme, but we did live in Utah for about 4 years, and while I can't buy into the religion (after death, I become Mrs. God??), there are some appealing aspects to the Mormon Ways...

One of which is being prepared for emergencies, natural disasters and the like.  Where would you rather be?  Home with the family, comfortably living off your provisions or standing in a long FEMA line, hoping for a bottle of water?

Especially with three little kids, this was something into which we put some thought and effort.  For that particular blog post, I snapped a pic of our food storage.

Fast forward to today - the nest is pretty empty, Magnum and I are looking to downsize, it's no news that I've been tidying, discarding, organizing, and generally removing our lives from the lower level of our house.  I'm not going to search through the archives for that food storage pic, but I can show what the former stash room looks like today.  Voila'

Yeah, a whole lotta  not much.  Note that there were two more of the large utility shelves - one is sitting empty in the hallway, and the other, I disassembled and Chaco took it for his use last weekend.  

And really, the main reason that one on the end still has stuff in it is because the cat likes to go up there to hang out near the heater vent sometimes, and I was afraid that, if the shelves were empty, the whole cat 'n' caboodle would come crashing down when the cat did his graceful climb and totally threw off the center of gravity.  

It's  nice having the room so open and airy.  This was also the room where I'd strung my clothesline and dried the laundry - because we're frugal that way and live in a dry climate.  Now, I'm doing laundry for two and don't need that whole clothesline network.  I've got a nice dryer rack that Wolfgang left laying around gifted me when he moved last spring.  

This isn't to say we have no provisions, I've just made room for that stuff on the main level and transferred while the cat gave me dirty looks.   Thought I'd mention that in case some zombie apocalypse was out there waiting for me to jinx ourselves.

Anyone  need some utility shelves?  

Monday, February 4, 2019

drama and opportunity

Meego was texting me off and on last week as he and 3 friends were hunting for housing for next school year.  Being in a college town, they needed to snap something up well in advance.  I'm assuming he was attending classes and getting homework completed too!

They eventually found an agreeable... to all the guys and the parents... house and signed the lease, so good to have that out of the way.  He sent several photos, and it looks like a nice but typical college town rental.

Looking at the photos and noticing the general decor and cleanliness, I deduced that the current residents are all girls.  The guys did ask the landlord why the current tenants were moving, assuming that maybe they're all graduating this spring and have their lives after college lined up.

The reality is:

  •  "They are 4 girls who were all good friends and moved in together, and now they all hate each other."

Well, I doubt that's the first time THAT has happened with a houseful of college girls.

And speaking of housing, my tidying continues, and I sold two items on craigslist over the weekend.  So, not only do I have some extra cash, but we have about 20,000 more empty cubic inches to show for it. 😊

This week's prompt for Illustration Friday is "Flying", so I drew this germ-loving housefly as in

Flying:  the act of being a fly