Monthly Archives: January 2017

A Start

Habit and tradition are annoying. January is a traditional time of year to start new. Sadly, I am in a position where I have to hang off the side of the bandwagon. Things at work have reset themselves and settled down to some extent and I can look at moving forward. I’ve complained about how much I’ve worked since last summer. The complaints have not been exaggerations.  It came to the detriment of my garden and my creativity. I cannot create when exhausted.

Writing is tiring. My writing is a bit worse. I find myself most productive after 11pm, just around the time that I need to go to bed. Earlier last year, between February and the end of April I wrote about 100k words. I need to find that energy again this year, but I’ve been so damn tired. The little things that need to be done every day just pile up and what is worse is that I struggle to be a productive writer during daylight when I have the most time. Staying up is an option but I also have to do silly things like work. I envy those that can just throw their job away and attempt to become successful in their writing.

My garden was neglected because I worked until 10pm. It is hard to garden in the dark. This year, I do hope that I will not be called to the feats of overtime that I was this year. It was rebellious and I often went 2 weeks with only a day off before another 2 week cycle.

Now, before the year crawls away as this last one has, I am going to try to jump start myself. I’m going to submit what I’ve written to some agents and see what comes. Hopefully, the pressure of that will let me finish what is truly a handful of writing and then the rewrite for smoothness. I suspect that being at the end of the project has its own stress that I’ve expressed in my lack of finishing. I can sit and let days just drift away while my mind spins in slow, exhausted circles.

Fear, I suspect, of sucess stands in my way. So, I must walk over it because I will not overcome it by just sitting.

My seeds are sorted. My schedule, while at risk of changing, is for now stable. My words are written. Now, I must take one of those leaps into the void to see what is there.

 

19 days silent

I am a bit ashamed of my silence. I have not actually been quiet. I have some random half written posts. Work, as it has been for the past few months, was horrid. That was compounded by the fact that I may lose my position. Then I got a cold. As I worked through the cold, I was about to go on vacation and had so much to get done at work before I left. Then, vacation where I kept a hand written journal.

Now I am back and need to catch up. But right now, I am trying to organize my seeds as part of cleaning up my desk which is a developing disaster area with new year stuff.

I had to send some items back. I had to fill out property tax stuff. I have stacks of seed packets trying to vanish. I even have an unopened box that was a random purchase. I’m a mess and not the type of mess that I planned to be at this time this month. I had hoped to be finishing my writing revisions. I had not planned to get horribly sick or have so much overtime at work that I my creative ability has drained from my ears.

Vacation was nice and I will write a series on that shortly.

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This is my little seed organization attempt. It is going quite well. A lot of cutting and shaping to fit into the pouches.

Every dog is a new challange

Every dog is different. Siblings from a litter will still have their own quirks. My first true dogs (not counting my Yorkshire Terrier that hated me), Rakunna and Ceasar were Great Pyrenees and siblings. They were very similar in temperament. Sweet, intelligent, and calm. Ceasar was a thief. He’d steal food from counter tops. We had to hid things on top of the refrigerator. After one failed attempt, Rakunna gave up that lifestyle.

Over the years as I’ve matured, made mistakes, had successes, and science has progressed, as has my dog raising. Yet, life is not static and I have never been able to raise two dogs in identical situations. I’ve moved. My work schedules have changed. My social life has changed. Nyx, for instance, was raised on a mountain with ten acres of land. She had few chances to see daily things like cars and people walking down the sidewalk. Nox on the other hand, moved  five times over a decade and was with me through my twenties and the changing jobs and schedules, cars, and lifestyle. While my training efforts were similar the environments were different.

Intuition has his own set of unique aspects of environment. My mother now lives with me. She retired a few years ago and came to hang out. She never left. Fortunately, we like her and it helps us meet life goals of travelling. It also means that Intuition has never had to tolerate erratic schedules and long days in his crate as all of my other dogs have.

This has created an interesting problem. Intuition does not know how to calm down and sleep or be still unless he is in his crate. Some of this is his personality. The rest is because he has never had to face twelve hour stretches alone. He has had a few here and there when everyone’s schedule desyncs, but I suspect it has been two. My mother even plans her trips around my work schedule to decrease the stress on the pets. This includes that ancient rickety kitties that eat four times a day now.

Inty struggles with the television. We just don’t use our television much anymore. Our computers satisfy our needs. We’ve also moved away from consoles over the years, perfecting the ability to multitask on our desktops.

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That leads to barking at StarTrek. He calms down but the first reaction is growling and barking at the strangers he can both hear and see.

That also connects to our other problem. He doesn’t know how to lay down and do anything. Some of that may come from our couchless lifestyle. We have one couch and it is currently acting as a backup desk for stuff of my husbands. His HTC Vive box is there as is a motorcycle helmet he is trying to get a bluetooth speaker installed on. He also cleaned off his desk last year and never moved the box of stuff he cleaned off. He stares at the couch sometimes and says that it’d be nice to use it. I mention that everything on it belongs to him. To be fair, even if he were to move his stuff off of it, the couch is two individual seats and not a single spread couch. We used to have one and got rid of it due to lack of need.

All of that means Inty has never spent time lounging with us on the couch. He has never spent time physically lounging with us until now and he has absolutely no idea what to do.

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He is a cuddly dog. The thing is that he expects for there to be something else to do after he has cuddled us. Instead, we wanted him to just stay laying down with us. He was very confused and it led to a restless night for all of us and some very bruised legs as we introduced him to the concept of sleeping in the bed.

Normally, I’d have introduced this around six months, once he was potty trained. Inty proved to be a challenge in hat respect. His destructive chewing was relentless at that point. If he had something with fabric in it, he ate it. Even his beds are all deeply scarred.

His chewing has improved but it has taken longer then I expected for him to calm down and for the girls to start tolerating him. I’ve also never had dogs hate a puppy with such an intense passion as Sage and Autumn has expressed with Intuition. I blame that on not having a strong personality like Nyx or Nox around to correct him early. Autumn is a very concerned dog and Sage has reached grumpy old lady status. Intuition is bold, headstrong, and obnoxious in his size and youth. The girls loathe him and often look at me with a sigh, wondering why I hate them so to bring this hyper, licking, thing into their lives.

Still… last night was a good test. While I am far from rested, he did manage to get a few hours of sleep and the bed is whole. I tried to get him to lay with me this morning but he was more interesting in licking the comforter where Autumn had been.

I’ve never had to teach a dog to settle down and snooze in comfort. I do hope it will be one of the easier challenges to overcome.

 

Staple Solving

I woke up this morning with the blurry remembrance of delicious food waiting for me. After a few dispirited wanderings around the kitchen, slowly it bubbled forth that I planed to get lunch at Chipolte. I have one across the street but I am proud that I do not indulge regularly. I also make myself walk when I do wish to go. It is only a five minute trot including waiting for crosswalks, but it leaves a general feeling of warm productivity.

Today, we added a side trip to the grocery store in the shopping center. There my mother’s plan to buy two apples and two oranges evolved into an elderly black lady telling her that she was beautiful and complaining about Trump. My mother also picked up an entire box of clementines.

Once she extracted herself from the exuberance of the other woman, something that included hugs and random topics, we purchased the fruit and I told her that she was not allowed to turn down my suggestions of bringing the tote bags in the future.

A bit of momentary cleverness made us ditch the wooden box the clementines come in to save weight. From there, right on time for our pick up, we strolled into Chipolte.

When I order my burrito bowl, I often get the guacamole on the side. The bag of our order was presented to me, neatly stapled closed. My cashier says, “I guess the side guac is in there but its closed.”

He then begun to ring me up.

I blinked at him as the realization that he was not going to check the bag sunk in. Having had my fair share of incorrect orders over the years I cheerfully say, “Staples can be defeated” and popped the bag open. There lay my two containers of guacamole.

I paid and left.

Now. Some people may wish to have a stapled bag. Why? I don’t know nor do I need to address it. I will just accept that may be a very important thing for some. But, they had a staple to staple it closed. The idea can be presented that the same stapler can be used to address the issue of resealing the bag.

It was his defeat that interested me. He accepted the staple as a hurdle to great to waste his time on. One may go, “Of course, why should he care?” The why is because customer service is a harsh profession and decreasing the obstacles in your day is a valuable skill. The chance is high that not all bags have sides of guac. By addressing those bags that do have said sides he increases the chance of handing someone a complete meal. This is how he saves himself the hassle of angry customers. For food service is one of those areas where humanity is stripped from both parties.

Now to lunch.

The First

On the 31st you are supposed to discuss the previous year. On the first you are supposed to make resolutions and look ahead. The world does a soft reset and potential opens up.

Then one is allowed to run off into a state of alcoholic indulgence. Allowed by society on this one day to do what one can do any day but upon which the double standard of alcohol tolerance frowns upon.

Or at least, that is how it seems. Perhaps, it is not a reality but a way for people to give themselves the opportunity to restart and refresh. A time to break cycles or entrench oneself deeper into habit.

For me, this is a year of reset. I’ve created some goals. I’d like to start taking daily pictures. I’ve wanted to do a 365 picture journal for a long time. This is the first time that I remember that goal on the first of the year. I normally remember it around the 7th or so.

I also have a finished book that needs its clean up and I need to start submitting it to publishers.

In these last few weeks I’ve allowed myself to drown in nothing at all. Video games, reading, infosurfing. It has been pleasurable. However, I ordered my tomato seeds for the garden this year and that somewhat activated me. It is time to start planning and organization. My planting is only a few months away.

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Not that my romaine cares. January 1st and it is still growing.