Animals, Books, Creativity, Dogs, family, Learning, Life, Thinking, Writing

Hocus Pocus I Can’t Focus

I was in a panic earlier this morning as I had to reenter all my information for unemployment.  I am still a little anxious as I am not completely sure about the dates I entered being correct.  I am currently trying to breathe my way back to calm.  I have Stella rapped around a foot as she sleeps.  Moose is nearby but facing the window.  Essie I think is in the living room in the big dog bed.

Today is the day I take the Jeep to get looked at.  I am anxious because if this is going to be a major repair session it is going to get expensive.  Hopefully our mechanic got back safely from his road trip.  I will text him once I finish with this.  I’m glad I didn’t start worrying about this last night.

I need to get myself together today.  I have things that need to be done and I keep putting things off.  Like my class work.  I still have plenty of time but I have the basics done all I need to do it tweak it and submit it.  It shouldn’t take any time at all.  Unless I procrastinate and then it can take countless hours.  I got all kinds of stuff done around the house for the family but doodlely was done for myself (other than read the new book… and that was supposed to wait until I finished reading my surfing book).

I wrote a to do list last night in bed.  Hopefully I can stick with it.  I have a meeting to cover tonight.  I hope and pray that I can get the Zoom connection to work.  I’ve not reported on this meeting the past two months because the link would not work for me.  I need to just sit down and do things instead of well-maybe-later.

I didn’t take a single photo yesterday.  The funny thing is Essie will pose for the camera but if I am using the phone camera she looks away.

The first photo is with my phone. So I set it down and got my camera. The second photo is with the camera. I didn’t even have to ask her to look at me.

The dogs are getting antsy and I am not far behind. I’m gonna wrap this up. Thanks for reading! Stay safe and have a great day!

Animals, Books, Dogs, family, Life, Reading, Travel

Tell Sleep I Miss It…

I am so overwhelmingly tired right now.  Pretty sure I didn’t fall asleep before 2am.  Essie wanted to get up around 8am.  But of course I was awake and trying to go back to sleep since 6am again.  Moose was all about staying in bed.  Every time I tried to get up he draped his head across me to keep me laying down.

Chris and I did a little road trip and acquired two used AC units for the house.  One is still in the bed of the truck (I told Chris he can put it in his office as I prefer to keep my window open in mine) but the other is in the bedroom.  With the fan going it cools the room right down.  We need to lengthen the felt cover that is over the window.  Even with the blinds down it gets bright in there when the sun is out.

I got my latest reading material in the mail yesterday.  The debut novel The Bright Lands by John Fram.  It’s a mystery set in a small Texas town.  It reminds me of Christopher Rice and some of his early novels so I thought why not.  Even though I am still reading the other book I am going to start this one.

I got another box from Amazon yesterday.  Amazon UK to be exact.  It contained a 3-in-1 nail gun (it does nails, staples and little U shaped thingys) as well as cardboard letters.  What is this for? you might ask.  I know I did because I never ordered it.  I got ahold of someone from Amazon once we had gotten settled in (we were gone most of the day so the kids needed to be fed dinner, groceries needed to be unloaded and put away and the AC units switched out).  I was told that I could keep it. So I have a new tool in my arsenal.

I can’t keep my eyes open.  I’m going to wrap this up and then curl up with the book outside.  Thanks for reading!  I hope you have a great day!  Stay safe!

Animals, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Learning, Life, Love, Thinking, Writing

Finding the Motivation

The rain has gone away.  Yesterday was a much welcome cloudy with rain off and on all day.  It did cool things off a bit.  Back down to normal summer heat for a day.  The temperatures will be right back up there today.  And I am ok with that.

I seem to have run into a mental dry spell over the last few days.  No writing other than this and my journal.  I’ve been lugging one of my guitars around with the appropriate paperwork to practice playing but I’ve done nothing past tuning the guitar.  I have read a bit in the new book.  I seem to not only lost my drive but my focus as well.  I was moving forward with great strides and now… inertia.

Moose definitely has kidney disease so I ordered more kibble yesterday.  I got the lamb since he doesn’t seem too fond of the chicken flavor.  We’ll see how he does.  Essie didn’t eat this morning.  She started getting me up around 6am to go outside in a hurry.  I left the door open for her.  She had to go back out maybe an hour later.  Then once we got up for the day She went directly outside.  Moose wouldn’t eat either.  I wonder if it is because Essie wouldn’t.  He’s in here with me and I can hear his tummy doing hungry rumbles.  I worry that Essie’s cancer is more severe than we think.  They said they got it all out with the lump but I’m not so sure.  And her surgery scar isn’t healing correctly.  Part of it keeps getting opened back up.  Now that Moose has been taken care of I need to call and ask them about her.  That will have to wait until Monday.  Monday I am also dropping the Jeep off for Chuck to look at.  Soooo….

I feel so busy but I know I have plenty of free time if  I choose to use it.  I just need to not do other things, like watch tv.  Moose is dreaming.  It sounds like it is on the border of becoming a nightmare with the sounds he is making.  I am keeping the house up as well as the gardens this year (so much easier and rewarding being able to stay home).  But will I let myself blow off writing?  That is part of the reason I opted to pay for the course instead of taking the free version.  The other part is that I can get feedback from other writers.  If you take the free course you are limited as to what you can do.  If I pay for it and don’t do anything then I am wasting money.  If I take the free version I can blow it off because it “doesn’t count” for anything.  That’s what I did with the guitar class.  So I need to find my way.

On that note I need to get something written before Chris gets up for the day.  He wants to do some running together.  I would rather stay home but it is time together.  Thanks for reading!  Stay safe!

Creativity, dreams, Emotions, family, Guitar, Learning, Life, Love, Thinking, Writing

Guess Who’s Taking Classes…

Today’s big news is that I signed up for an online class.  Actually classes.  It’s a creative writing collection of courses through Coursera.  I am paying for them so I will get a certification at the end.  Chris didn’t seem too enthused when I told him.  He thought I would go for a photography class.  I don’t think he sees the use in me taking this course since I already know how to write stories.  His second guess when I said I was taking writing classes was journalism.  He knows I can earn money doing that so that would be normal to guess.  But creative writing seems like a waste to him.  Mind you he’s said none of this.  This is all what I am reading into his response.  I didn’t mention that I was paying for the courses.  (You can take all the courses on there for free but you won’t get certified and you might not be able to access everything available in the course.)

I am taking the classes because I am hoping that talking with other creative writers I can get more consistent with my writing.  And I am stuck in my novel so I am hoping that I can use that over the course exercises and get that back on track.  I already have ideas after the first class.  It started yesterday.  I have done everything but write the 250-350 word story and critique others.  I cranked out a rough draft last night before bed (one of the reasons I didn’t get to bed until almost 1am) and I hope to tweak it today and get it submitted.  The twist for it is that they have listed 12 random words and you need to use atleast 6 of them in every other sentence to create movement.  I got a bug after watched a bunch of diverse short documentaries last night.

So that is where I am right now.  This morning I feel a bit run down.  I felt like this last night so not sure if it is merely the continual heat or just me coming down with something.  I think I will wrap this up and go read or work on some writing.  Oh and they are letting me finish the guitar class if I want to (I was almost done before I stopped… maybe one or two hours of work left I think) so I guess I’d better tune the guitars back up and get at it.

Thanks so much for reading and thank you for your thoughtful comments!  Stay safe and have a great day!

Aging, Dogs, Emotions, family, Life, Love, Nature, Photography

A Little Drama Goes a Long Way

This will be a much shorter post than yesterday.  I’ve not been feeling good the past few days and not been getting much sleep.  This morning I am really wiped out.  I don’t think much is going to get done today.

Dad has been having more and more panic attacks… severe ones.  They are getting more frequent.  I am trying to keep up with them but it is hard.  If I can get him to talk on Facetime I can usually talk him out of it.  It may take a few hours but it can be done.  I think Dad is realizing how much he is losing as he gets older.  He turned 78 years old on Thursday.  He has had both hips replaced, cataract surgery on both eyes, hearing aids in both ears…. then there are his physical and mental limitations.  All this is staring him in the face and he is terrified.  There is also the fact that he is gay and was not able to fully live openly until about 5 years ago when I encouraged him to move to Montreal and fulfil a life long dream.  Now he is seeing all that he missed and feels that he cannot have as an older gay man.  And all that keeps piling up on him mentally.  Each week is gradually gets worse.  The face that he is on lockdown doesn’t help either.  I am not sure what to do other than just listen.  His medication is losing it effectiveness as well.

So I am hoping that I don’t get any emergency phone calls today.  I need to rest but if Dad needs to talk I’ve got to be there for him.  I just called Essie in from barking.  She heard some thing (I thought it was someone on the 2 track) and went flying out to bark.  She sounded a bit intense and was heading to the opposite side of the yard so I saved this and went to see what was up.  Turns out the neighbor to the east of us (the trailer that burned down last summer, I guess the guy died in the fire (maybe if I had seen it sooner to call it in sooner?) and his son has been living in the house that they had been building just across the property) is once again fighting with someone.  It’s usually his girlfriend.  But in the past there have been gun shots so I try to get Essie to shut up and come inside.  I don’t need him coming over here to shut up the dogs with a gun.

I guess I will wrap up this drama filled episode and go outside and read for a bit.  It is still comfortable out so I will enjoy it before the temperature get too hot.  I’ve got some cool shots that I got with the camera yesterday that I will share as well.  I managed to sneak a photo of a hummingbird leaving the feeder last night.  When you look at the picture she is to the left flying at the camera.  I am pretty proud of that one.  I also took a bunch of a monarch butterfly that has been hanging around.  She even played in the sprinkler yesterday!  It was so fun to watch! I tried to photograph all sides of my faery rise bush. I realized I had been only taking pictures of one side. She is just bursting with blooms!

Well thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!  Stay safe!

Animals, Books, Cooking/Baking, Dogs, Emotions, family, Holiday, Life, Nature, Photography, Reading, the World, Writing

Ahhhh… This Is What It Feels Like to Relax

Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day.  I got bills paid but when I tried to do the “free” car payment online it was $50 more than if I just sucked it up and dealt with traffic.  So I loaded up Moose and Stella and we went to the bank.  With Moose all but in my lap and Stella peering around my shoulder from the back seat the teller and I chatted for a bit about the times and dogs (it was video drive thru and there was no one behind me).  Once we got home (much swearing and the use of my phrase “damn tourists” repeated ad nauseum) we settled outside.  No I lie.  I wanted to bake the cupcakes for the kids birthdays before it got too hot (the one ac unit can’t keep up with all the heat and humidity this week).  Once those were done and cooling I did some thing unusual.  I grabbed my Minion quilt, my bag of books and writing, my camera bag and a few other things and we headed outside.  I laid out my quilt in the shade and set up shop.  Stella came and sat right next to me until I started to read my latest book The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma then she laid down beside me.  Moose and Essie were in and out.  As the sun moved so did we and we moved across the whole yard by the day’s end.  The kids spent most of the time out with me despite the heat (it didn’t feel so hot laying in the shade).  It was a relaxing day had by all.

I got some cool photos (I will download them from the camera and put some in this post) yesterday as well.  I found myself playing with the light.  I think I paid more attention to it because we were in the shade most of the time.  Especially when sunset neared.  The lighting got really cool then.

The only downside to yesterday was the loud music and fireworks.  The music I could deal with.  When the fireworks started they were sparse so Essie was going around the yard barking at them (she does this when the locals are shooting too close to the house).  But as the displays ramped up (we seemed to have them on all sides) Stella started to really freak out.  Essie and Moose were uneasy but coping because I had background noises going and I was nonplussed with the noise.  Stella began pacing around the house, a sure sign that she is freaking out.  So I pulled out the anxiety meds and snuck them into a cupcake for each.  That seemed to help but Stella would wake up (I decided to hunker in bed and read so we’d all be together) with some of the louder fireworks and just stare to make sure all was ok.  Things wrapped up around midnight or so.

I got a few books yesterday.  Well one is actually a pamphlet but you get the idea.  The pamphlet and one books are on Michigan butterflies.  We have so many different varieties this year I wanted to know more.  So I can sit outside with my bird book and butterfly books and see what we have this year.  The third book is actually a memoir.  It is part of my learning about the surfing culture books that I have on my Amazon list.  It looks so good and I really want to start it but I am making myself finish The Fishermen first.  I am halfway done and it is a very good book.  I get lost in the story (and it’s in Nigeria) every time I pick up the book.  But I really really want to read the new one!  Barbarian Days A Surfing Life by William Finnegan looks so good!  And I have a first novel coming in a few weeks from a new writer I discovered John Fram.  So I will be busy reading.  I am hoping this will compel me to get more writing done.  We’ll see.  It seems to have worked today!  This is a long one!

I will stop for now and download some of the photos from yesterday.  Thanks so much for reading this long post!  Have a great day and stay safe!

Aging, Animals, Dogs, Emotions, family, Food, Life, Love

Essie, Moose and Stella

I guess today’s blog will be about the kids.  Today is Essie’s 10th birthday!  I can’t believe that we have had this little bundle of awesomeness for 10 years now.  Chris brought her home to me (or rather he stopped at my work with her) to replace me having to give up Lily Rose, another Pitty rescue.  Lily had bad separation anxiety and was destroying the house while we were at work.  There was nothing that helped.  So I got a little 7 week old puppy that I named Esmerelda May.  She has been with us ever since.  Baby girl has been through a lot in those 10 years.  She is one of the best dogs we’ve ever had.

Today we are also celebrating Moose’s birthday.  He turns 8 years old.  I rescued Moose locally before they put him down.  He was only 9 months old.  He has been my baby ever since.  He is too damn smart too.  There was the times he managed to open the sliding glass door and let himself and his siblings out.  And when he opened the side door and let everyone out.  Then there was the time he opened the oven…. you get the idea.  But he is my baby.  I can be gone for a few minutes and he is so butt wiggly happy when I get back.

Now we know today really is Essie’s birthday.  But I counted back from when I got Moose and that would make his birthday in July (if they are right about his age, I say that because the people I got him from it was their roommate’s dog and he couldn’t bear to give him away and asked them to take him to me).  So I decided that we would just celebrate both of them today.  If I have Stella’s age right she can celebrate with me as she was born in August.

And speaking of Moose and Stella there is a local restaurant named after them!  Chris and I stopped at one of our local places we might eat at every few months yesterday.  It was a fun train themed tiny place with really good food.  Imagine our surprise to find that the place as now called Moose and Stella’s and was now dog themed!  The décor was all dog stuff: plaques with sayings about dogs, dog bowls, dog photos etc.  When we got home I looked at my Moose and Stella and told them it was about time they picked up some of the bills since they have their own restaurant!  The food was amazingly good (I had one of Moose’s burgers) and we will definitely be going back.  I may need to see if I can get a tee shirt….

I will leave you with some photos of all three babies.  I am very blessed to be able to call them mine.  I hope you have a great day!  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Dogs, family, Gardening, Learning, Life, Nature

New Adventures In the Garden

This is way early for me.  I have been awake for about to hours now.  I gave up laying in bed around 6am.  Even the dogs slowly trickled out of the bedroom.  It took them a few minutes to decide if they would get up with me.  I managed to get everyone to eat.  Essie did not eat at all yesterday.

Despite the heat and humidity here I did get a lot done outside.  One of my water hoses blew so I went to the store to replace it.  Not with what I wanted but I had to have something to reach the back yard (our only outdoor spigot is at the front of the house).  I also got a big and long planter box that I repotted the lone tomato plant, basil plant and a small cluster of green pepper plants all grown from seeds.  I repotted the orange pip that had sprouted to find that all of the orange pips had started to grow.  They are in a bigger pot and the dirt is Miracle Grow so hopefully that will encourage all of them to keep growing.  After I repotted them I let them sit for a little bit to get settled before I watered them.  Everyone seemed pretty happy this morning.  All the plants are green and standing upright.  I was worried because it got a little chilly overnight.  I also got two small metal fences to go around my smaller rose bushes that are out in the yard so the kids don’t run through them.

I made a discovery yesterday afternoon.  We have tadpoles in the small pond!  Over the course of the morning a nasty smelling chunky scum had come to the top of the water.  It smelled like someone forgot to flush the toilet after a few hours in the heat.  I decided to try to flush it out with the hose and replace it with clean water (the ponds never stay clean past a few days).  As I was watching the new water go in and the old water drain I saw something swimming.  Chris heard me say, “What the hell was that?!” and came to see.  It turned out there were a ton of tadpoles living in there!  Our ponds are manmade in plastic rims (this is what was here when we moved in).  We get maybe a frog every summer for atleast a month or so.  Earlier this year we had peepers.  The tadpoles look too big to be peepers but I guess we will find out.  I stopped filling the pond because it was stunning and killing the tadpoles.  So we will have to deal with the nastiness until they are grown.  I think out of all the ones I saw on the water only eight or so were actually dead.  Soooo… another new adventure!

So I did get a lot accomplished even if I did continually get overheated (damn hot flashes on top of heat and humidity… I can deal with one or the other but both make me sweat too much and feel sick).  Not sure what today will hold.  Today is Dad’s birthday.  He turns 78 years old.  We are going to try to talk later today.  Chris wants to go to the range and shoot guns for a bit plus there is some running we want to do.  Well I see that I have gone on for a bit.  Thanks for reading!  Stay safe and have a great day!

Emotions, family, Holiday, Life, Motorcycles, Riding, the World, Thinking

Tourists

I am trying not to be bitter and angry as I see all the out of state license plates as the tourists start to pour in for the holiday weekend.  I get especially angry when I see plates from states with growing COVID-19 cases.  I really wish they would stay home.  Up here we are fairly isolated so we haven’t been hit hard.  But I am willing to bet that after this week and weekend we will see a very large spike in cases.

Local government and the State government both require travelers to self isolate for 2 weeks after their arrival.  No one is going to do that if they are only up here for the week or weekend.  Hell I doubt if they would do it anyway!  I understand that people are a bit stir crazy from all this but now they are putting all of us at risk just so they can have a good time.  And once everyone gets drinking I’m pretty sure that social distancing will be forgotten.

It is so frustrating to be doing the right thing and seeing that it is working then in a matter of days it all gets thrown to the wind because people from out of town come up here and don’t give a damn.  They might be forced to wear masks at home but by God they are on vacation!  They don’t have to!  Besides, everyone up here is relatively healthy so they don’t have to worry about catching anything.  Selfish bastards.

I apologize for the rant.  The kids and I ran to the vet to get their monthly medicine and M72 was packed with tourists.  I even saw plates from Texas and that really got me going because Texas and California are the two hot spots (oh and Florida) for the new outbreaks that are getting out of hand.  Yes, please come and share.  Grrrr…  And the fireworks.  The dogs don’t like it any more that the vets with PTSD.  But no one bothers to think about that.  Especially right now.  With everything going on it is showing how selfish people can be.

Chris has the rest of the week off.  If he wants to go anywhere I might have to say no unless we are riding the motorcycles.  And even then I will probably refuse to get off and go in anywhere.  Atleast on an a motorcycle I have my helmet and such.  I have fussed enough.  Thanks so much for listening.  Stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Dogs, family, Life, Nature, Photography, Thinking, Writing

Feeling Better, Being Busy

Thank you to everyone who reached out to me yesterday.  I am still playing catch up with everything.  I took a break form everything yesterday.  Mostly.  I did no social media or phone (Mom will be upset as a I turned the phone off).  I rested and read more Terry Pratchett.  That being said I still did dishes (three times… no four.  If I let dishes sit we get ants), trash went out, laundry got put away, plants got watered, front yard got mowed.  I had planned to do the back yard as well but I got an email from the paper asking me to cover a meeting last minute so I showered and attended the meeting.

I’m not sure what today holds.  Poor Chris was up around 9am.  For the day.  He only has to get through tonight and he has the rest of the week off.  He has more than earned it.  It will be fun to see how far he can get with the project bike this week.  I have been taking photos as he progresses.  I’m not sure what we will do with them but we’ll see.  I have a few ideas.   One thing I do need to do is read more in my camera book.  I am getting frustrated with not being able to get the rich colors of our sunsets and when I try to photograph the moon it turns out fuzzy.  Not crisp like it looks in the view finder.  Soooo I’m sure there is something to do about it that I don’t know.

The sky is cloudy today but it is still warm.  After all the full sun intense heat of yesterday this is a welcome reprieve.  I will need to get out and do my thing out on the deck instead of staying inside.  I can pile all my books and such in a bag and head out there once I finish this.

I hope to make the new puppy treat recipe today.  I still haven’t made any for the kids.  They have not seemed to mind much.  Atleast I have all the ingredients.  I will let you know what they think of it.  These will be the first ones since Moose was diagnosed with kidney disease.  Speaking of which he goes in on the 10th of July for a recheck.

I am in need of sitting down and figuring out what I need to do with my writing as well.  The newspaper is a nice steady but there are other projects that I am missing out on due to procrastination.  So a list needs to be made and priorities need to be made.  And followed through on.  And on that determined note I will sign off and get things moving here.  Thanks for reading!  Stay safe!