Try It, You Might Just Like It

I had get some items for the four-footed one today.  Naturally those involve going to a store that caters to animals…dogs and cats for the store we went to.  It’s a locally owned store that incorporates local products where it can.  And it has its own version of a bakery.

The store allows dogs and cats provided they are on a leash and well-behaved.  The four-footed one loves the store and the staff.  Without fail every time we go in she is offered treats, spoiled with affection and has a blast.  It’s never a quick in and out visit.  Not with all the people who need to see her as well as all the smells to be taken in.

This visit she was offered a tea cookie, no tea in it.  But if she were a human it was something that might pair well with a tea.  And it al human grade ingredients.  The store owner enjoyed a cookie after giving my four-footed companion one.  He also offered me one, but I declined.

When we left, I with items I needed to buy plus something extra for her, and her with her tummy full of treats, the owners wife came over to us and insisted on giving the four-footed wonder a treat as well.  Now the four-footed one will never turn down a treat and thankfully these are all low-calorie not to mention not too big.  Naturally she consumed the treat, let her picture be taken and left a happy pet.

It never occurred to me that one day I would be eating the same treats I buy the dog, from a dog store.  Would you?  Eat treats from the dog store designed for both owners and their pets?

Freshly Minted

Mint.  The four-footed one loves mint.  She picks it out of the garden the minute she can.   If it can’t be picked out of the garden, she no doubt hopes we have some from the store.

I don’t mind sharing my mint with her however she doesn’t seem to understand the idea of sharing in return.  Unless it’s after she’s finished chewing up all the mint she wants.  Then she leaves me the half bitten or eaten pieces.  Not the most appealing version of sharing.

Today she claimed the entire mint patch as hers.  Now I don’t mind in the fact that mint comes back all the time so it’s not like a massive expense.  However she took the whole patch as hers already.  The mint season is now going into full-bore.  So do I get and plant more mint or hope the stuff she flopped down as a resting patch serves her and I can use it?

Is it wrong to put a fence around of the mint to keep her out of it?  Of course knowing her she’d find a way around the fence.  Or perhaps I should consider that this year I will be mint free.  But the four-footed one would still have her mint season.

To Fly Again

I’ve spent a fair chunk of my life traveling.  A good portion of my travels involved airplane rides.  I don’t mind flying and am always delighted when you are high enough up to get a different perspective of the land you know so well when you are on the ground.

I have often wondered if birds and flying insects have the same enjoyment with flight, even though there is no way for them to tell me.  Nor do I have a clue how their emotions or minds work.  Regardless of all the logistical issues, I am curious about this.

I’m even more curious about this today.  For one specific, innocent, unsuspecting fly.  This poor fly that managed to have the misfortune to land in my garden.  Near the four-footed one.

I’m not sure if the four-footed one is envious of those creatures who can fly.  If she is may explain her behavior today.  Which was a combination of pouncing on the poor fly and trapping it in her paws while dragging her paws on the ground.  (Yes sometimes she does like to pretend she’s a cat!)  When she was finished and decided to set the fly free it was evident the poor creature wouldn’t be able to live up to its name.  I wonder if it will miss flying and being in the air.  Poor fly.

It’s A Numbers Game

I should let it be known, again, that I am deathly allergic to math. I start to sweat, my knees grow weak, my throat swells up and my brain flees the confines of my skull when I am exposed to the stuff. However over the years I have developed coping skills so I can be around the basic math. Once fractions come out I start to feel shaky and I know better than to push my luck.

Imagine my surprise when I signed up for an online course working with software, not developing it, and within the introduction, the facilitator cheerfully announced that we would be using our math skills. Beyond the basics even. Stuff like trains traveling on different tracks leaving at different times and having different speeds was the beginning point of the math.

As the introduction continued the facilitator happily announced the need for understanding calculus because of course that’s an every day use right there. By this point sweat started to form, cold chills left me shaking and if I had to stand up I knew my knees would give way. The question became one of survival, did I stay signed into the class and attempt to use my weak coping skills with math or did I do the smart thing and leave before I killed myself with too much exposure?

I stayed in the class thinking that surely I’d have a firm grasp of how and when to apply my coping skills. Except I don’t. Because you start talking in math terms and I start to feel my throat close up while my brain searches for the nearest exit. But I will stay in the class if for nothing else than that I should get a bit better coping with these horrible confrontations!

Of Ins And Outs

The four-footed one loves to find patches of sunlight to flop down and rest in. As the sun moves across the floor, the four-footed one will happily follow it. If she’s outside, once all the distractions have been dealt with, she will happily find a place with lots of sun and throw herself onto the grass where she will promptly fall asleep.

I am a bit envious as I have had to learn to ignore the sun and all its appeal simply because lupus seems to not just feed by increase in strength by what seems like a million times thanks to the sun. So I will watch her find that perfect spot and settle her self down while I make do with the shade and a million layers of sunscreen.

When she gets too hot, she wakes up, pants, goes to her water to have a drink and then comes to cool off in the shade for a short period of time before the sun beckons her again. She can happily spend all day in this cycle, with short breaks indoors for things like food (she doesn’t like to share with the outside critters) and checking on her precious toys.

If it’s too hot outside for her it becomes a battle of wills between the two of us, she wants to be outside and I know she needs to be indoors to cool off. Usually I win this one because I am bigger than she is. But now and then she will become too set on staying outside. On those times she isn’t afraid to fight dirty, putting teeth on me, pushing hard with her legs and paws to keep me away. And once and a while she will use what I consider to be the ultimate weapon in any dog’s arsenal…flatulence.

Thankfully today she managed to get her fill of frolicking in the sun through walks and lots of play time, so she was good and tired. And thus, I was able to capture her and put her in the house so that the ants can stop using her as a speed bump or their version of Mount Everest (not sure which is more appropriate) and I don’t have to worry about her getting too hot. And this is just the beginning of a long season with her, in and out of the house non-stop!

Whole of Holes

Have you ever had something that you know is no longer any good or has become worn out, but you can’t just part with it? I have a pair of shoes that I like. I’ve never been able to find a pair close to them that would let me replace them so I have been careful with them.

While walking today in the rain my left foot suddenly got wet. There appears to be a hole, or I may have just worn through the sole of the shoe and now I have a wet foot. And no real reason to keep the shoes any longer. The cost to repair them, if they can be repaired, is going to be worth more than the shoes.

The hole did not just suddenly appear despite what I would like to think. It has been slowly creeping its way to a catastrophic failure resulting in me being left with a soggy foot. And I have chosen to ignore the slow building failures because, well, they are a special pair of shoes.

Part of me wants to blame the shoes for letting me down, but they haven’t. They lasted a long time, took me on some amazing adventures and it’s just their time to move into a different being. I knew the day was coming, but still I let things linger to the point of a painful goodbye. And I let things linger into a slow decline because that seemed easier than finding another pair of shoes to replace them.

Our relationships are like that sometimes aren’t they? We let them linger long past their best by date simply because it’s easier than saying goodbye. We don’t consider if the other person would be better off moving on or not at times. Because it’s a comfortable fit even if it’s grown from one thing to something completely different. In those cases you aren’t left with a soggy foot, just a broken heart and possibly wet cheeks from tears. Because goodbyes are not easy, whether it’s a loved one leaving or a trusted shoe finally reaching the point of no return.

Pushing Along

I read a book about a person who did a solo trip to the Antarctic and all I could think of is why. Why would you put yourself through that kind of risk? Why did this idea even pop into the person’s head in the first place? And why didn’t I ever push myself like that before?

On one hand I can not imagine wanting to put myself so out there that if something went really wrong there was little to no way to get help. But on the other hand, what a marvelous way to not only push yourself, but really get to know your own weakness and strengths (obviously before you start out on the journey and then once on the journey simply grow them out).

There is something to be said about self-sufficiency and knowing you have pushed yourself as hard as you can. There is also something to be said about feeling you are in a much larger space, wide open and for the most part untouched by millions of people. (I should mention that again, the cold and I are not good friends, so this might not be the ideal trek for me.)

I can honestly say I’ve never put myself that far out on the line. I’ve never had my entire life and death in my hand and having to trust in myself to that degree. I’ve also never pushed myself that hard or under those types of conditions. Would I be a different person if I had? Maybe.

But a friend reminded me that there are days when I struggle to get up and moving around. There are days when lupus seems to be my version of climbing a mountain or going to the Antarctic all on my own because in some ways lupus is very much your own individual challenge. And so maybe, in my own small way, I have pushed myself somewhat that hard. Just not exposed to the cold and the frostbite or the total loneliness. Or the life and death situations etc. Besides, I’m not the kind of girl who can go that long without a decent cup of coffee, running hot water and indoor plumbing so yeah that’s why I haven’t pushed myself that hard!

Simply Cooking

One of these days I will learn. I will learn not to think that the simple looking recipe so red simple or quick.  I spent all day making what looks like a simple set of meals for work week lunches.

All I had to do was cook some quinoa, roast some tomatillos and sweet potato, grill a chicken and slice an avocado.  Yep that’s it.  Oh and mix up some spices.  Sounds super easy and quick right?  Shouldn’t be an all day event right?

Something like that should allow plenty of time for other things, like grading papers, doing the laundry and playing with the four-footed one.  But.  But it didn’t work out that way.  While the quinoa was cooking I prepared and roasted the veggies.  And played with my four-footed companion.  I mixed spices and grilled chicken while dodging leaps and tail wagging.  I sliced avocado in time with yips and woofs.

And the day somehow slipped away.  Sure the laundryman aged to be finished and dishes washed.  Grading papers had to come afterwards.  After packing lunches, cleaning up and such it was time for a long walk.  After that it was time for playing.  And then finally it was time to grade papers.  While the four-footed one slept on my feet.

So after all of that’s why is it that I find myself looking at more recipes which seem quick, but will probably te the whole day.  It could be my preparation methods, or my helped in the kitchen.  Any way I’m sure it will happen again!

Smell That

The smell of something delicious, if you happen to be the four-footed one, can be found in a multitude of places.  From mud found in the garden all the way to up to the neighbor’s tree all house see tantalizing aromas.  Thick, tall grasses seem to hide special orders that can not be resisted despite what your human may say.

For me delicious aromas tend to come from certain places, like the kitchen or a bakery.  Restaurants may tempt me the same as certain stores.  But the neighbor’s tree has never offered me anything that smells delicious.  And no matter what may be in the tall grasses, I’m okay not seeking out a tasty morsel from there.

Sure my attitude probably has me missing out on some things, but I’m okay with that,  the same as I’m okay not eating bugs, at least not deliberately eating them.  And I don’t care if the bugs taste like chicken or chocolate, I am okay on missing out if it’s a deliberate  choice.

So when a friend invited us out to a new place to eat, one that served things like meal worm pizzas and cricket poppers, we did not hesitate. Nope not for me second.  We politely declined.  Because we, after all, are not like the four-footed one.  And yes we know it’s a good source of protein, but we aren’t at the place yet where we can consider consumption of the bugs as an every day occurrence.  And yes I know I eat bug parts every day, but it’s hidden from me.  I’m okay with that. Because delicious aromas aren’t found up trees or in the grass, not for me.

Silly Me, Still Learning

When I was younger I remember thinking there would come a day when I would no longer be carrying books around with me in a backpack.  I also remember thinking here would be a day when I would be finished with classrooms.  Ha!  I still carry books in a backpack and am in a classroom most days.  Silly me!

I’m not sure when the change happened, but now I cannot imagine not carrying around my books or bopping in and out of classrooms.  Although I confess that I struggle when I’m on the other side of the desk these days.  And yet, I still sign up for classes and continue to be a student.  Because there is always something to learn. I just tend to do my learning online these days.

I’m now wondering if there will come a time when I cannot carry my books with me  because they are too heavy or I am too frail.  I know there will come a day when I won’t be in a classroom all the time.  I’m okay with that.  And if I really need to be in a classroom I can always sign up for classes that require me to attend them in a classroom.   Who knows, I may come back around and enjoy it!