Animals, anxiety, Books, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Gardening, Learning, Life, Love, Medical, Movies, Nature, Photography, Thinking, Travel, Writing

The Mad Hatter

Yesterday was productive all things considered. I got all the dishes done and put away (we had accumulated several days worth), same with laundry, I cleaned up the floor in the utility room and put down an all weather mat for the boots, plants got watered and I even got 6 or 7 little glass pots with seeds started.

I got out of the house for an hour (Mom texted around 10:41am asking where I was and I reminded her that she cancelled with me the night before) and I got the mat for the house and a few other goodies. One of them is a cool looking pocket knife. It’s pretty sturdy even if it is a little chunky (this is from my machinist husband… I was concerned that I would get home and he would pronounce it crap due to either design or material). So I can now carry a pocket knife with me. I am very pleased.

We got several inches of snow that seem to have literally blown away. The wind has picked up considerably. I worry that it has made Essie sore/achy. Both girls have been acting odd. It is as if they switched personalities almost. I was sharing some food and Essie about took my fingers off where Stella took it gently (the opposite usually happens). Essie was also busy chewing on bones for several hours while Stella chewed hers until it was clean then came and curled up with me on the love seat (another complete reversal as Essie will normally barely finish her bone and be done while Stella will finish hers first and go look for more). And the jealousy… if I am giving one attention the other gets upset to the point she may actually come over and push her way in. I don’t know what is going on.

I watched a well done documentary on Shudder yesterday. It was three hours long but well worth it. It covered various aspects of folk horror (think The Wicker Man or Midsommer). I realized two things. One there are a lot of good movies that I haven’t seen and two I have watched a lot of horror movies. It has also given me a few ideas for the novel. I feel like the information needs to percolate but I am worried that it is just an excuse. So after this I will pull out my novel and see what happens.

I have had a few people ask about what I am calling the “Alice in Wonderland feeling.” It is still going on. I am guessing that there are big changes that are going to be happening soon. I think the girls can sense it as well. I don’t know what they will be or when they will happen but something is shifting in a big way.

On that note I think I will wrap this up and get it posted. I am hoping to have something very cool to share with all of you later this week (if the mail is on time). Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Aging, Animals, anxiety, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Gardening, Learning, Life, Love, Nature, Photography, the World, Thinking, Travel, Writing

Cruising In Neutral

I can tell it’s my day off. I am in no particular rush to do anything. I got up late but I was able to read some new (and old) blog posts from you folks. I even found a few new ones to follow! It has been nice no trying to power read through things.

It still feels off, like yesterday. This even carried over to work (things were really off there). The feeling is not as strong as yesterday but something has changed. I am not sure what but I’m sure I will find out eventually.

It seems odd to be writing about milk but I am using “real” milk if you will. It is from a local farm and comes in glass bottles. It is also a little pricey. Why would I buy this just from my coffee? Because it literally was all we had. I am trying to get used to a thicker and creamier milk (the regular stuff is closer to a white liquid). It is good for several days but the way it is reminds me of when the stuff I normally drink (ok buy since I am not a big milk drinker) is going bad. I have to keep telling myself that the milk is still good it is just different. Maybe I need to use this tack on myself with change?

Mom and I were supposed to get together today but she said I should stay home. I am still debating about going into Traverse just to get out on my own for a bit. But then I consider everyone else. What if I don’t get home until after Chris leaves for work? I don’t want to leave the girls alone (I sound like my Mother here) and I don’t want to miss time with Chris. See how that works? I just talked myself out of going anywhere. (I may go to Dollar General just to walk around. I do need to get out some place out of my normal routine. Or maybe to Gilroy’s and see if they have gotten any seeds in yet.) I use others as a crutch or a pry bar if I need an excuse to go out. Never for me.

If I go out I think I might take my camera. If I do that then I can go to the parks around here and see if I can get some photos. I have been very lax as to my photography. I should continue my DVD lessons. That will be after Chris goes to work. (And I will need to tell myself that the girls won’t suffer from lack of play time if I just do a few lessons. Are you listening Self?)

I have been thinking about doing something with my hair. I’m not sure what. Since I am happy with the length maybe play with the color? Purple is my favorite color so I thought maybe some purple streaks. Something to brighten my mood. If I do streaks then I won’t really have any maintenance because I am not very good with that. As a matter of fact I have an honorary Dude Card because I am very much like a guy in many of my attitudes, lol.

I had better get this posted or I will go on forever it seems today. I hope you all have fab day! Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Aging, Animals, anxiety, Books, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Friends, Gardening, Learning, Life, Love, Medical, Nature, Photography, retail, the World, Thinking, Writing

Feeling Like a Bad Spice Cake, Too Much of Everything

I just can’t seem to get enough sleep lately. No matter what time I go to bed I feel the same when I get up. Last night I slept especially hard and I honestly feel awful right now. Today will be a 10 hour day but I have tomorrow off. I honestly have no idea what I should do tomorrow. There is so much that needs to be done around here. The only thing I have kept up on is laundry.

The sun is out and I don’t really want it to be. It can be a dark dreary day today. There are plenty of clouds still out. Did I mention all I want to do is sleep? With everything going around at work I will be upset if I get sick again. Not surprised though. I watch people cough either right out without covering their face or they cough into their hand and then touch things. And this from some of the ones that “can’t afford to get sick.” (*eye roll*)

I had a bit of news last night that was well…. unsettling. For me atleast. For most people they would be over the moon and excited and proud and….. Then there’s me. My eldest son (the one I just started keeping in touch with last year) messaged me that he and his wife are expecting. I can’t wrap my head around that. I messaged Mom but she is very blah about it. (I told her briefly about Essie and that I might not answer messages for a bit. I don’t really want to talk to her about Essie because the last scare we had with Essie Mom (well intentioned) told me I needed to do what was best for Essie. If she does that right now I know that I will lay into her. She has no place to tell me that after some of the things she…. no. I am not going there.) I want to tell her that Essie is doing well but I dread the possibility of “that” conversation.

I got some work done on the novel yesterday. Frustratingly enough I seem to have made more backstory questions for myself. Even if the reader never knows about half of what I have created I need to have the history of this village in my head and/or on paper. I have to laugh. For every page of novel I write I end up with two or three pages of backstory that I have to come up with! On the plus side I am very interested in the characters and their backstory so it is not a chore to get to the nuts and bolts of things.

I guess I should wrap things up. I want to try to wake up before work. I am closing manager so I need to be focused and alert. Not dozing. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Food, Friends, Gardening, Learning, Life, Love, Medical, Nature, Photography, retail, the World, Thinking, Travel, Writing

Dreaming of Gardens

I don’t have to be to work until 2pm so that is a nice thing. I didn’t need to set an alarm. I got some extra cuddle time with the girls. Poor Essie was really warm when we got up. Part of that is the prednisone. She also drank a lot of water (again the meds). But she has been eating again so I’ll take it. I took both girls for a ride to work last night. I forgot to bring the next books in a series a coworker is reading so I decided to take both the girls with. On the way I remembered that I had forgotten to get meat for their dinner. One of my younger coworkers (she’s like a little sister) was excited to come out and meet the girls. They did very well. And one of my regulars was parked next to my car and commented that the girls were very quiet (they never bark when someone pulls up beside us). He was very impressed. I was too because Essie wasn’t shaking or anything while we were out (Essie is not a fan of car rides so getting her out and about can be difficult… I just wanted her to be in the car for something other than going to the doctor).

I am starting to think about my gardens. We have yogurt that comes in these small glass containers at work. They are a little more expensive but they tase really good and have the added bonus of being the right size to start my seeds. I also have the long window box I need to empty out. The plants didn’t make it but they were the annuals so I wasn’t surprised. The dirt was crap as well so I am grateful they made it as long as they did. This also means that I need to pick a spot to get serious about a food garden. I have several spots I can use but each has a unique set of problems. All will need fresh dirt. But if I use the rock garden (I prefer that because it is fenced in so the kids don’t run through it) there are the fire ants. Apparently this garden is on top of a mound of them. When I do any serious gardening I have to pay attention because they will start to swarm which means I have to take a break in that part of the garden for a few hours while they calm down. There is also the problem that they will eat certain things from the roots up. I cannot grow any hot pepper plants in that garden. They also manage to bring up a lot of sand which a lot of the plants aren’t happy with. I have three raised gardens but those are in desperate need of a good cleaning out (they have been left on their own for several years as they only recently became enclosed in the fence line so that I can access them). There is also the girls. They like to fertilize them in the Spring and Summer. Also a consideration is that they are a distance from the house as well as the abundance of bunnies that will come in the yard now that it is fenced in (I am still at a loss as to why that is… before the fencing went up the rabbits stayed away). There are other little plots of earth here and there that I could use but they are all easy access to running and playing Pitbulls that (bless them) don’t pay attention to what they are running through. I may resort to pots again but I don’t know for sure. Tomatoes and I don’t do well together however I am thinking of trying the whole grow them in the hanging bag that is advertised. It would be inaccessible to the usual critters. But will they grow?

With prices going up on things I need to be serious about my gardens this year. If I have an abundance then maybe I can share some locally. But I need to get things grown. I enjoy gardening so it will give me an excuse to be outside more. Since I know some peeps that work at some of the local gardening shops I might see it they can get me some specialty stuff (like the bags to grow the tomatoes). I would much prefer to do it locally than send for it. Especially since these people shop at my place of work.

Do any of you have gardens? Year round? I have tried to keep food stuffs in pots and bring them in during the winter but with as little sun as we have had they are not happy. What do you have in your gardens? What do you do about various pests? Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

I see that this morning I have run on a bit. I really have enjoyed talking with those of you that have commented on past posts. Thanks for reading (everyone 😁)! Stay safe!

Animals, anxiety, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Food, Gardening, Learning, Life, Love, Nature, Photography, the World, Thinking, Writing

Looking Towards Spring

While it isn’t exactly Snowmagedden here it has been steady cold and snow since the wee hours last night. We got a few inches and Mother Nature is giving us more off and on. It amazes me that all of the meteorologists have jobs anymore. And I wouldn’t be so critical if they didn’t make such a fuss about how accurate (almost down to the minute claim some) they can be. All that snow (up to a foot (30 cm) they said) never arrived (honestly we only got maybe two inches (5 cm)) and it was all supposed to be done by 7am. The Weather Channel App would post a Storm Watch but when you looked at the hourly there would be no snowfall to happen.

I did a little thing to all (well most) of my plants yesterday. I had forgotten that I had some of those plant food sticks so I went around and watered everyone and then put in the food sticks. I do have to say that everyone looks a lot happier. Some of those leaves that were all but ready to fall off have not only perked up but have filled right out. I do need to put ice cubes in my orchid. I forgot yesterday with everything that went on. I need to be quiet because the freezer drawer can be a bit loud and Chris is still asleep. But hang on…

Ok, my orchid is watered. Essie keeps going in and out of the bedroom. She will spend time out here with me but if I continue to write for too long then she goes back to bed with Stella and Chris. I also refreshed my coffee. 😁

Since I have the day off I am hoping to keep working on my writing. I didn’t really get much done yesterday before work. But I was able to get a few notes down before I left. I really should talk to my parents but I also need a day to myself. I do want to send them the video of the girls in their new boots. It was ABSOLUTELY HYSTERICAL!!! The video is 8 minutes and apparently too long to post anywhere (or send to anyone) so that is another thing that I want to do. Sooooo that might be next after I get this posted.

I filled the birdfeeder with the last of the seed. I had just enough to top it up. It is mostly tiny sparrows that have collected there today. They are very comfortable with the dogs and myself. I make it a point to talk to them and tell them what I am doing. They will fly to a branch just beside me so I can get to the feeder and fill it. But it is such a bitter cold today and the wind isn’t helping. I put suet out as well. I would try to put water out but it would freeze in short order.

I am struggling to get one of my candles lit. What?! Did it finally take?! The wick would not stay lit no matter what I did. Apparently the fourth time was the charm. I kept trying to stand the wick up with a pencil before it would die out. Since I have that going I am gonna get this posted. I don’t have any new photos so it will be some of my older ones that I share. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, anxiety, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Friends, Gardening, Learning, Life, Love, Medical, Nature, Photography, retail, the World, Thinking, Writing

Plotting and Planning

The morning is dark and windy. Some light snow is drifting in from the West. Everyone feels tired this morning. I am frustrated with some of my plants. It’s not their fault but I am irritated none the less. I have my favorite hanging plant that is getting infected again with those tiny critters that will spin a soft web line and then hang all kinds of nasties on it. I don’t want to kill the plant but I am struggling to figure out what to do. Last time it got really bad I was able to go out and hang it in a tree and it took care of itself. Mother Nature leant a helping hand. When the plant is indoors is when it seems to get infected. I try the vinegar and water spray and that works for a few days then they are back. Even if I wipe all the leaves off. I am at a loss.

The girls’ boots should arrive today. I am very grateful as I think we will really need them in the upcoming week. I need to go through our dog coats and see it I can find one to better fit Stella. It seems that Essie is slimming down a little but Stella seems to be picking it up. She’ll probably drop it when we can go back outside. This winter has been bitter cold so no one really wants to be outside. Even some of the die hards I work with have been surprised (these are the guys that wear shorts year round up here).

I am hoping that my knee has righted itself. I have no idea what happened but we heard a pop (this was at work and the noise startled my coworker) and I could not stand/walk on my knee. It got a little better after I got home but there was a moment that my knee just completely “snapped” and it hurt like nobody’s business. All I could focus on was that. As the night went on it seemed to get better. It is twinging this morning but so far no major issues.

I have tomorrow off and no meeting. I am glad they cancelled (it was the Harbor Commission so there isn’t much to do or say this time of the year) so I can stay home. I may chat with one or both of my parents. We’ll see how that goes. I may be having too much fun watching the girls in their new boots! I also need time with my novel. I am slowing getting back to it. Even if it is only a page a day.

I’m going to wrap this up for now. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Aging, Animals, anxiety, Books, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Gardening, Holiday, Learning, Life, Love, Medical, Nature, Photography, Reading, the World, Thinking, Travel, Writing

Love In A Snow Storm

We awoke to several inches of snow. Within 45 minutes the flakes had gone from coarse salt size to the size of a nickel. Then it went in the opposite direction. It is in the process of getting larger right now. Essie spent a good amount of time patrolling the fence line. Mostly at the back and she began and ended her patrols at Moose’s grave.

I called the vet yesterday morning. Essie has an appointment at 2pm. Since she hasn’t done anything but pee it will be x-rays right out of the gate. We are worried about a blockage. I am glad I saved my Christmas money. So I guess Essie and I will leave a little early and get that money deposited. I’m pretty sure it will all go toward her vet bill. I just hope and pray that I don’t have to make “that” decision. That scares me to death.

I didn’t get much done yesterday. I did water plants and do laundry (although the last load is in the dryer still). The girls and I went out to Moose’s grave for a bit and shared some banana chips with him. It was chilly enough I put coats on the girls since we were going to be out for a while. They had a good romp.

I got a surprise Christmas gift from Chris yesterday that helped to cheer me up. A little bit ago he purchased himself a light saber. He really enjoyed it and was doing his forms again (one of the things I always loved was watching him work through his sword forms). But apparently he wants someone to play with (these are ones that you can connect with but not full contact if you see what I mean). I have a thing for rooting for the bad guys a lot and that was the case when it came to Darth Maul in the new Star Wars movies (which I am not a big fan of, I prefer to stop at the first three… which technically are not the first in the story 🙄). So that is what I have. Darth Maul’s double saber. This set up has all kinds of bells and whistles that I have to figure out (volume being a big one… those things are loud when they talk to you!) but there are things like various sounds you can make (right now they sound like a traditional light saber when I move them through the air and I can make it sound like I am repelling laser gun fire) as well as being able to change the saber colors (I have gone with my favorite of red on both). So that will give me something to play with. It is quite large and heavy when both sabers are together but that will just strengthen my wrists. I think a lot of time will be spent outside once it starts to warm up (I will actually be able to get him out of his office! lol). And that is not a bad thing for either of us.

But my thoughts keep coming back to Essie. I am trying to plan things out in my head so I am not making decisions on emotion only on the spur of the moment. As much as it hurts I am trying to think things out. I want her to leave this world at home. She is terrified of going to the vet. And with the new restrictions in place I don’t think I would be let in and I am NOT leaving her alone with that. So I guess I would set something up to have them come out to the house. The next question is what are we going to do with the body? I would prefer to bury her out back with Moose but the ground is frozen solid. I don’t know if we can right now. I hate to send her away to be cremated. That will require some more thought.

I am sorry to be thinking out loud on this. My fingers are typing what is going on in my head without much filter this morning. My heart is feeling so brittle right now. One blow and it could shatter. I find myself looking at my Winnie-the-Pooh bracelet that I got myself. It says You are Braver than you believe-Stronger than you seem and Smarter than you think. I am not feeling any of that at the moment. (For those of you wondering where in the world that is in Winnie-the-Pooh it is what Pooh tells Piglet when Piglet’s house is flooding and he is freaking out (this is in the original books mind you, Pooh gives him a similar speech in the Disney movie). Pooh may have been a bear of very little brain but he sure was a smart one. ❤️ Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Aging, Animals, anxiety, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Gardening, Guitar, Learning, Life, Love, Medical, Music, Nature, Photography, retail, Tattoos, the World, Thinking, Writing

Contemplations: Life, Love, Happiness and Banana Chips

Moose’s anniversary started with a beautiful sunrise. Once I got Essie out after eating she did the strangest thing. She was sniffing along the back fence line like she was looking for something. She stopped right at Moose’s grave and just stood and stared. Then she woofed and bounced at his grave like something was there. I thought maybe she saw a deer or something but there was nothing there.

I bought some banana chips to share with Moose today. It was our special treat together. It was one of the few things we could still share together after the got sick. Stella will eat them but Essie mostly won’t. That’s ok.

Essie still hasn’t gone potty that we have seen but we have missed a lot. This morning was a good example. I kept repeating that I needed to watch her while she was outside but I completely forgot because Stella decided that she wasn’t going out so I was trying to convince her to go out when I realized that Essie had been out for a few minutes already. When I got to the door all she was doing was sniffing around. But I will try my best to keep a closer eye on her the rest of the day.

In bed last night I made another to do list. It is all pretty straight forward. Things like work on my novel, make my list of meetings for work for the month (I guess the store manager is going on vacation and making several weeks in advance), work on my guitar, clean out my wooden fountain pen (I really want to like this pen… but it is such a hassle to get the ink to flow enough to write with that it is quickly becoming an expensive paperweight) and take photos (I should be uploading to my web site as well).

I am debating about getting another tattoo. I have several ideas on what I want but I am not sure what to do next. I am leaning toward more butterflies. I want to get local butterflies on random spots. I have my Monarch (I get so many compliments on it!) and I really love the detail work he did on it. Soooo I would like to get that same effect all over. The other one I want is something to do with books. I just can’t come up with a good concept. So I guess I can scour my photos for butterflies and see about getting a few.

Another goal today is to clean out my long window box. It will fit in the kitchen windows so my goal is to get the nasty dirt out from the mess I got from work and fill it with the Miracle Gro that I have. From there I will start some seeds going. It is a sunny set of windows and there is a heater vent near by so it will stay warm. I thought about moving George there (he is my new succulent) but it would be awfully lonely for him. He needs direct sunlight so I have him on the shelves by the sliding glass door. I just worry that it is too cold for him. That being said he is doing fine so far. Sooooo….

Ok I had better stop of now. I am just rambling on. I want to thank everyone one for their kind words over the past week. It means a lot. I hope you all have an amazing day. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Dogs, Emotions, family, Gardening, Learning, Life, Love, Nature, Photography, Thinking, Writing

Add A Little Life

This will be a short post since I will need to be out the door in a few minutes. Essie got me up to go potty around 2:30am and I have been awake ever since. I was tired but I didn’t fall asleep til about 10 minutes before my alarm went off.

I did talk with both my parents yesterday. I had a good visit with both of them. Chris and I had a pretty good day together too. The girls just wanted to play play play because we were both home.

I lost my little orchid. I think I accidentally over watered her. However my big orchid has a bud! I am so excited! When I clear more space in my media I will post a photo.

I see that I need to get myself together and out the door. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, anxiety, Creativity, Dogs, dreams, Emotions, family, Friends, Gardening, Learning, Life, Love, Nature, Photography, Reading, retail, Thinking, Writing

Smooth, Clean Taste with a Dash of Confusion

A better cup of coffee I have never had… sigh. I am drinking a cup of The Coffee Beanery’s chocolate raspberry. Usually there is a bitter taste when I have my favorite flavors in coffee form. But this… this is smooth from start to finish.

But I’m not here to talk about coffee. Balance is the topic for this morning. How do you find it let alone keep it? Just this morning I am feeling behind the 8 ball. I needed to get the extra sleep but I also needed to get my article written and submitted. I needed to get this written, the girls want to get attention (since I worked both jobs the past two days they haven’t seen very much of me), the plants need to be watered again, laundry has to get put into the dryer so my work clothes are done (I threw them in the washer when I got home last night)…

I am trying to branch out in my writing but I feel… ? I feel like I can’t break through the wall. I am hoping that a few writer’s conferences that I have found for the Spring will help. Being face to face with other writers might give me the extra push I need. I have had several offers to publish articles if I write them but with everything I have going on and me trying to take downtime it feels impossible. I know I can do it but at what price? When is enough enough?

My writing has fallen into disuse in some areas. I find that I keep using the same words over and over again. (I guess I need one of those A-Word-A-Day desk calendars.) I find it hard to express myself in various mediums. My fiction suffers because I try to be precise and short with the articles for the paper. Since word count does count for the paper I have to pick and choose my words. With a novel or a short story I have more freedom but I find myself restricted. I have written so much nonfiction that I have a hard time just letting go for fiction. I am so free with my wording on here that I have a hard time finding the balance when I write my freelance articles. I can have my own voice, but I also need to be creative. It is hard to explain. I tend to write my articles (and reviews) very cut and dry like I do for my newspaper articles. I need to have more flavor and spice to my other nonfiction projects. Not so stuffy.

I had a woman at the meeting yesterday morning tell me that the Elk Rapids News was not a real newspaper. She regarded the previous incarnation a real newspaper. Part of me was upset because of course it is a real newspaper! But then I thought about it and I think I understand what she means. It is a local paper with local dealings. There is nothing about the rest of the world.

I should wrap this up. I am running late and this needs to get posted. I will share some old photos as this morning is rainy and dark. Almost all the snow is gone. Again. Do any of you have trouble balancing everything you have going on in your life? How do you do it? I look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for reading and stay safe!