Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Aaaaccckkkkk!!! 

I have missed 6 days!! I’m not so much writing a story today as a run-of-the-mill blog post. Heck, it might even border on mildly boring, but as I’ve had a couple of adult beverages … I don’t really have a snappy end to that sentence. 😄

Okay, so the kitty kat got her stitches out today. She does has an infection, most likely from licking the wound site, but she got a shot of antibiotics. There’s a bit of inflammation, too, but our vet is hopeful that it is just partial post-op inflammation and infection. 

We did get the biopsy results, and it is intermediate mammary adenocarcinoma. Runs in the family. We’re still staying hopeful, though, since the vet did cut ahead of the direction of the growth that she’ll be all right for awhile. 

On lighter news, we did have a busy memorial weekend of a college graduation and a birthday party. Thankfully, the graduation was at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY, and as it’s a small liberal arts college, there were only 206 graduating, so it didn’t take five hours! Of course, it was bright and early at 9:30 am, and we pretty much stayed outside for about 7 hrs, so between the sunny commencement and many games of corn hole, I got a little sunburnt. Not too bad, and thankfully when we got to the birthday party, the hostess made me go inside and get lotion. 

My husband’s and my work schedule has been ridiculously off center this whole week, so there’s been a couple of nights with 3-4 hrs of sleep, and not much of us seeing each other. I hate those weeks. I had today off, and he worked early, so it was super nice to have the whole afternoon and evening together. We finally had to come inside when it got too dark to see our Simpsons edition Uno card game. I am losing spectacularly! Here’s hoping tomorrow I can make a comeback, as we had to stop in the middle of the current round, and it will start with the second reshuffle of the deck in the same round. We have intense Uno battles, but maybe that’s easy to do with only two players! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend, and story tomorrow, promise! 



A Not-So-Story A Day May #19

*Depressing Post Alert*

For any of you who have followed this blog for a long time, you’ll know about our previous cats. All new followers probably don’t, unless you actually like reading through 2-3 years worth of blog posts. 🙂 So for a short version for everyone new to the blog, my husband and I had three cats. For 12 years. Lexus, the mama cat, and Jupiter and Isis, her two daughters. Lexus developed mammary cancer, which eventually spread to her lymph nodes and then pretty much everywhere else in her body. Jupiter, who had a heart problem that we managed well for five-six years, also developed a tumor in one of her mammary glands, and after that was removed, she developed two tumors in her lungs. Now, both of those cats passed in 2012, two months apart.

Fast-forward to 2015, and by now we’d figured that we really dogged a bullet with the bad genetic lottery concerning this family of cats. Alas, that seems not longer the case. Two weeks ago I felt a lump on Isis, on her lower belly. It was small, and while we try to consistently feel her belly for any lumps (for the past three years) she’s not a lap cat. But, she never has been, unless she’s feeling like it and even then rubbing her belly was not high on her list. Isis does like to curl up with Tim between his knees at bedtime, or she sleeps on my pillow, above my head, so she can be a snuggler, plus being 15 has mellowed her out a little. Anyway, the lump. We made a trip to our wonderful vet, who recommended surgery, which I expected. Isis got an EKG last week because she does have an age-related heart murmur, but my vet wanted to recheck her heart so there would be no issues with anesthesia. Today, she had her surgery.

We’ve been staying positive about the whole thing, and I’ve been doing well … until last night. With Lexus, her surgery gave us another 7 months with her, and she had five tumors and one entire side of mammary glands removed. (A ten inch incision is pretty much the entire cat, btw) Now all I could think about last night was how her sister, Jupiter, had one small tumor removed, and died three months later.  I keep thinking about how she’s the last of the original three, and we’ve had her since she was in her mother’s belly. I held this cat when she was one week old, and she’s been my cat ever since. I don’t know what I would possibly do without my vocal, grumpy, sweet girl, who, like her mother and sister, purrs loudly and uses her vocal chords often. Our current two kitties purr, but it’s a quiet purr, and they aren’t very vocal cats. I’m not sure how I would even adjust to that kind of quiet.

Now, you might be thinking, well, Isis just had surgery, like 12 hours ago, and a sample of the growth was sent off, and the biopsy results will be back in a few days. You might think, why even worry about it being cancerous when you don’t have 100% proof that it is. The problem lies with felines. You see, for all you dog people out there, canines get growths sometimes. They develop warts and cysts, and benign tumors. With cats, the malignancy rate is about 90%. Couple that awful fact with an established family history of heart disease and cancer, and the odds are not in her favor. Sure, my vet cut out the growth and the four tiny nodules that were developing, and got the tissue ahead of it to cut off the chain, but that does not reassure me. I did chuckle when my vet called me after the surgery and said Isis ended up with a four inch incision. Caring for Lexus after her surgery three years ago will never have me worried about incisions again. (Seriously, ten inches. On a cat!)

I haven’t cried in a few hours, so I figure that’s got to be something. Of course, I had a pretty sleepless night, since Isis gets Hangry, and she couldn’t have food or water after 10pm. She fussed at bedtime, after bedtime, and started walking around, yelling at me and one of the other cats about 4am this morning.

Right now, she’s lying on her favorite blanket in our bedroom, pain pill in her system so hopefully she’ll get some rest tonight. I did manage to get this awesome shot of her this morning. She’s not and has never been a fan of getting in the cat carrier, and while it’s easier these days than it used to be, she found a bit of the old flare of defiance and got behind the headboard. Then, one of my facebook friends made the greatest comment about the picture, saying it looked like Gandalf’s “Fly, you fools.” face. I think I’m going to need someone to photo shop a wizard hat on her.

I'm not getting in that carrier.


Story A Day May

May is upon us and for those of us who like to dabble in fiction, this month brings Story A Day! I did attempt this two years ago, and figured I have nothing to lose by going at it again. Plus, writing something other than what I normal work on is all around good for me anyways. 🙂

Like last time, I’m going to use word prompts, and my goal is to write at least 500 words, preferably 750 or more. Today’s prompt is brought to me by Siri, who really pulled some doozies out of the interwebbies when I asked for three random words.

Enjoy.

Word Prompts: Day of Remembrance, Hurricane, Deadnettle.

Fish Tale

It was the Day of Remembrance. For Lilly, it meant one thing: waiting for her mother to arrive so they could visit the riverbank where her father left. At the age of twenty, Lilly did all she could the last couple of years to keep her mother from going, keep her from telling the story. Begging, pleading, arguing, cajoling, nothing worked. Nothing ever worked, which is why Lilly sat on the front steps of her tiny cottage and waited.

Her mother arrived, top down on the bright blue convertible car, sad opera music blaring, hair blown to a tangled mess. She arrived like a hurricane, noisy and strong, and would leave the same way. Holding back a sigh and forcing a smile, Lilly picked up her pink and white polka-dotted purse, smoothed out her yellow dress and walked to the car.

“Mom, can we turn the music down?” she asked as she got into the vehicle.

“I don’t know why you don’t appreciate the arts,” said her mother, but she pressed the down arrow on the console.

“I appreciate the arts. I love the arts. I don’t love sappy soprano singing.”

“Appreciate the message, Lilly dear.”

The ride to the river took hardly any time as most people in the small village lived near the river. The two women made small talk, mostly discussing work and how Lilly had yet to find a stable love interest. Lilly didn’t care about having a stable love interest, but her mother absolutely did. It probably stemmed from Lilly’s father leaving when she was only four years old.

She didn’t really remember that day, even though she was there. She remembered him, the way he always smelled of fresh air, and how he always took her to the river to swim. Lilly could breathe under water, one of the traits inherited from her father. That and her green eyes the color of cattail leaves.

The day of his leaving, he took her to the river and they walked along the bank. She played with tiny frogs and minnows, splashed in the shallow water, and picked wildflowers. Near dusk, her father knelt in front of her, held her and told her how much he loved her and her mother, but he’d been human for too long. He changed back into his true form as a long, graceful fish, and slipped beneath the murky surface. She never saw him again, even though she and her mother came to the spot every year on the anniversary of it.

They stood at the same place with her mother telling the same story, crying the same tears. Lilly used to cry too, until she got older and really thought about how much it must have hurt her father to go, and how much he had to have missed being in his true form to do it. She didn’t begrudge him the choice anymore.

They arrived. Her mother got out of the car first, tossing her sunglasses onto the driver’s seat, and started for the riverbank. Lilly trailed behind, dreading the inevitable drama.

Her mother held out her hand. She took it and squeezed, a comforting measure done since childhood, and while Lilly hated to carry on the tradition of this day, she would always offer that gesture to her mother.

“Oh, Lilliana, I miss him,” sighed her mother.

“I know. I miss him, too.”

“I mean, how selfish was he to abandon us like that? The nerve of that man!”

When Lilly was sixteen she found the book hidden away in the basement of her mother’s house. She read the spells and incantations, and finally figured it out. While her mother started in on the yearly tirade of berating the man who broke her heart, Lilly broke away and sat down among a patch of deadnettle. Near the five minute mark of the rage, she brushed a section of pink hair from her face and glanced up at her mother.

“Witch.”

Her mother stopped speaking, mouth agape and cheeks turning bright red. “What did you say?”

“I know what you did, mother. I found the book, and I asked grammy and gramps. They told me that you were sick of not having a husband so you conjured up a spell, caught a fish and turned it into a man. Grammy was super mad when I told her that you told me that Uncle Carlisle had been practicing with transformation spells, and he was the one who did it.”

“Is that why she stopped speaking to me for a month?”

Lilly nodded.

“Fine.” Her mother crossed her arms, and stared glumly out over the river. “But he didn’t have to leave.”

“I’ll tell him you said hello.”

“What? What are you talking about?”

“I tried to tell you when I was a kid that I could breathe under water.”

“I thought you made that up!”

“Nope. I see dad all the time. We go swimming together. Of course, he’s still a fish.”


What Adopting A Dog Taught Me

Ignoring the fact that I’ve been absent from my tiny corner of the blogging internet for well over a year, I’ll just jump in like I haven’t.

What follows is also an insanely frank conversation about depression.

Anyone who knows me personally, or has followed this blog, knows that we have cats. A person might recall the death of two of our cats in late 2012, and then adoption of two kittens in 2013. Now this is relevant to the dogs because of the manner of how we came around to adopting. Basically, once we realized that our delightfully adorable six month old kitten was too much for our old, grumpy girl cat, we decided to get another. This decision came about on a warm, May evening, outside on the patio, after my husband and I had had a few delicious, refreshing, beverages. Boiled down even more, Tim got drunk, I got drunk, and he talked me into getting another kitten. Three days later, we had the 10 week old Simon.

Fast forward a year. We’d been kicking around the idea of getting a dog. Tim has forever wanted one, but with living in apartments, it was never a good idea, but now with the house, well … we talked about it, he kept resisting, and finally, I took matters into my own hands.

By way of Facebook and Tim making me like all these animal rescue groups, I discovered a local rescue group that takes in particularly abused and neglected animals. I went to the website. I browsed. I downloaded the application, stealthily filling it out one night while we watched TV, and broached the subject a few times, even showing Tim some of the dogs they had for adoption. He was still resistant, for some reasons I can’t even remember.  So like any good wife, I got him drunk and then showed him pictures.

An eight month old boxer-hound mix named Talulah stole his heart. We sent in an application, 75% already filled out thanks to my scheming to get my husband the dog he always wanted, and waited. Our references were called, I exchanged a few calls with the adoption coordinators, and we had a home visit, which sounds super serious, like adopting a baby, but many of these dogs and cats lived horrid lives prior to being rescued. And then, like a storm cloud settling over our heads, we found out that we weren’t the only applicants for this puppy. (Turns out little Talulah, having been available for several months, had no interested parties until the week we decided to adopt her.)

Days went by. About two weeks maybe? I, who does not and does not have children, suddenly felt like an anxious parent, waiting on an adoption agency to tell us that we could have a baby. When we finally got the call that we could go meet the dog, we both felt this insane amount of relief. Having no foster family either, Talulah had been staying at a boarding facility. A really nice place, but still not the same as a home. We met one of the adoption coordinators at the boarding place, and then met what is quite possibly the happiest dog in the world. Crazy, whole-body wiggling, jumping, dog. According to the groomer at the boarding facility, Talulah had had several visitors. I have no idea what made them decide on us, but even if they hadn’t, after that day it was obvious that Tim and Talulah were best friends. Ten minutes after being outside, Tim was laying in the grass with this dog laying on top of him. We couldn’t have separated them even if we wanted to.

We came back the next day and picked her up and took her home. At this point, we were fostering her because she’d suffered through severe demodectic mange, and while she was totally fur-covered when we met her, she still had a few more weeks of medical shampoo baths and one final test before being fully cleared for adoption.

The first couple of days went well. We kept her in our spare bedroom, giving everyone time to adjust. One morning, she saw a possum outside, and that was when we became acquainted with her barking. And more barking. And, eventually, crying noises when we would leave the house, or put her up in her room. Thus began the longest few weeks of my life.

You see, having no children, wanting no children, knowing full well the scope of my depression/anxiety, (and the almost certainty of passing those genes on) I now had a 53 lb child living in my home. Having cats for the past 14 years was in no way the same as having a dog, and we’ve always had snuggly, co-dependant felines. And when Talulah would get frustrated, I would get frustrated. She was big. She was loud. Intrusive. Always seeming to need my attention. And the more frustrated and upset I became, the higher pitched her whines, cries, and barks would become. There were several times when I broke down in tears, telling Tim that I could not take care of this puppy. Her needs, the closest thing I’d come to constant caring for another living creature, was too much. She needed too much. I felt like she and Tim were bonded while she did not care for me the same amount, and probably wouldn’t. I felt like I had post-partum depression.

Depression is a bitch. I can remember being depressed, clinically, chronically depressed since childhood. When I finally realized that I couldn’t live my life in a constant state of worry, panic, and soul-crushing worthlessness, I went to my doctor, and thankfully for me, medication saved my life. Which is not to say that I never experience regression, because I do, but I keep taking my medication, and I know there will be an end to the episode a few days away that doesn’t involve me plotting my suicide.

Getting that dog? That dog, that amazing, beautiful, still the happiest creature to roam this planet dog? She taught me what I knew  – I don’t want children. I’ll never want children. And while I do have moments of wistful ponderings at what might have been, it will never be more than my desire to not have kids. If not being able to figure out what a puppy needed made me feel like punching a wall until my hand broke, I can’t even imagine what pregnancy hormones would do to me. And I know from experience that not taking my medication, which I wouldn’t be able to do if I were pregnant, never goes well. I lived for so long just trying to cope that I’ll never willingly go back to that state of mind after knowing what not just hanging on is like. You wouldn’t think that level of depression and helplessness could be brought on by getting a dog. But, after reading many stories from many women who experienced the same thing, I felt better. And most of these women had human babies too, not just canine ones.

It has been an eye-opener adopting a dog (which, of course, we did officially about a month after we initially got her). Tim and I figured out that a dog is the nearest thing to having kids. Going away for a weekend? Leave out enough food and water and a clean litter box and your cats will be more than just fine. Got a dog? Well, as I’m sure lots of people know, that’s a whole different world.

So where does that leave me? Well, like I said, at the beginning it was a rough few first weeks. Now? I can’t imagine not having her. (Even if I do joke to Tim about that time we were down to just one pet in the house) Seeing our puppy transform and change, to grow comfortable in a home of her own has been amazing. The first couple of months we couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom, or make any noise without hearing her feet hit the floor, and the barking start. Now I could drop an armload of dishes and she would probably ignore it. Probably. With the majority of her mannerisms portraying the boxer part of her DNA, she is still a puppy at her current age of a year and nine months. We’ve learned that no surface is too high, and she still loves chewing on any sort of paper product she can get her paws upon. And if you’ve never been around a boxer breed or owned one, that name is entirely appropriate. They use their paws in the way cats do, grabbing things and holding them by curling their paws around items, and they absolutely punch you. We’ve both been punched by this dog, once in the eye for me.

Nowadays, we have five animals. Three cats, and yes, two dogs. We fostered a dog from the group we adopted Talulah from, and after about a month, when Talulah decided she actually did like him and could share all her toys, we ended up keeping him, because she found her canine best friend in a three-legged Australian Shepard. We took him in four days after his amputation surgery, which was an interesting experience. I’ll never forget sitting on the floor of the patient room in the veterinary hospital asking the vet if I should carry this dog down the four back steps to the yard when he needed to go out and her super casual reply of, “Nah, he’s fine.”. I know there are three and two-legged dogs and cats, but I’d never encountered one, and I had certainly had never cared for one, especially a dog that came with 30-something staples.

I think menagerie is a great way to describe the household. It’s what Tim and I say when people ask how we are, or about the house or pets. Soon to follow is something probably fiction-writing related, or house renovation themed.

She's helping with the veggie garden project by eating my gardening gloves.

She’s helping with the veggie garden project by eating my gardening gloves.

Runs as fast as the four-legged goofball, and was never happier than out in the snow two months ago.

Runs as fast as the four-legged goofball, and was never happier than out in the snow two months ago.

Talulah and Bo

** If anyone is interested in the ‘before’ pictures of Talulah or Bo, they can be found on The Arrow Fund’s website. There are a lot of graphic pictures, as this rescue group takes in cases that many people wouldn’t. You can find our Lula under the Happy Tails section. **
http://thearrowfund.org/


What NOT to do when planting trees.

Yesterday, we got up bright and early, drove over to my mother-in-law’s house, mowed the yard there, came back home, dropped off the lawnmower, and then made two trips down to the nursery where we picked up our new babies. No, not human babies. Baby trees. Well, two trees and one shrub, technically. 🙂

We’re slowly landscaping the yard. Slowly because we are doing it all ourselves, and also because my husband and I hardly ever have time to work on the big stuff together due to our work schedules. A couple of days ago we finally the hole dug in the front yard for one of the trees we picked out, and decided it was time to pick them all up. They’ve been paid for for about a month and the super wonderful people at the local nursery had been taking care of them for us until we were ready.

The first trip yielded two trees, both put in the back of the vehicle. I had to drive with the back open (is it still a trunk on an SUV??), but we live close, so no worries there. We unloaded said trees in the driveway and headed back. The third tree was trickier.

The front yard tree is a Weeping Blue Cedar, in what they call a Serpentine shape. They are really cool looking. The trunks are wrapped in wire when they are saplings and manipulated into the ‘S’ shape, or even in spiral shapes, and the long evergreen needles drape down. This #%$@!* was planted in an Enormous pot. E-Nor-Mous. The first thing we thought was “We’re going to need a bigger hole.”, and the first thing the guy said was “I know what you’re thinking and the root ball is not as big as that pot.” That was a bit of relief. Only a bit.

He got his two young whipper-snapper helpers, and the trio leaned the tree over and began digging out the root ball. Once it was free, they loaded it onto a forklift (no joke) got it over to the vehicle and proceeded to load the thing horizontally. I was able to shut the back door, but Tim had to sit beside it on the folded over seat because the top of the tree was wrapped around the front passenger seat.

Our first difficulty came in getting the #$@!%^$ tree out of the car. We had an old throw rug under it so we did use that to pull it out, which wasn’t easy as we had to keep it as level as possible. Once it was out, we adjusted our original hole by about five inches, taking it from 19″ wide to 24″. Thankfully, we had made it deep enough as the woman who has been helping us told us how deep it needed to be. The second difficulty was getting the cedar from the driveway to the hole in the front yard. Again, that rug came in handy as we figured out we could drag it. And here’s where we were complete idiots.

Keep in mind that neither me nor my husband has ever planted a tree, except for those teensy-weensy pine tree saplings you plant for earth day or something when you’re like 10, during a school outing. I knew it only needed to planted to the top of the root bulb, not over, and we were further instructed to leave the burlap wrapping, but to cut the strings. So we get the scissors and I’m sitting next to this thing, cutting the strings and going one stupid step further and peeling them away from the roots. We managed to scoot it to the hole and drop it in. Wouldn’t you know, the damn thing is now perpendicular to the house, which means it hitting the front porch. No big deal, just turn it, right? Well, it would have been less of an ordeal if we hadn’t removed the strings. It weighs a freakin’ ton and we can’t lift it back out and the burlap is tearing and disintegrating wherever we grab it. I could get my hands under one side of it, which kinda, sorta, barely helped. It took ten minutes but we managed to turn the tree.

The other two trees were in much smaller pots, one of which I could easily carry. We dug two holes in the backyard, popped those suckers out and into the ground. After spending about 5 hours outdoors getting completely filthy and sweaty, I then showered and after a quick lunch with my husband, went to work. I am getting a start on a tan I wouldn’t normally have, so that’s pretty nice, though my face still feels warm today. We members of the pale club shouldn’t spend from 8:30-1:30 in full sunlight.

I’ve got some before/after pics. The before ones are a couple of months old, as indicated by the time stamp. I finally figured out how to get that to go away on our new camera. I hate having the date blasted across the front of my photos.

So our lessons learned are if you are planting something big and heavy with rope wrapped around a root ball, for the love of all things, don’t cut the strings before it’s in the ground, and if you can pay someone else to do it, then do it.

Front yard before we dug up two inches of sod. Ugh.

Front yard before we dug up two inches of sod. Ugh.

 

Weeping Blue Cedar Tree - the most awesome looking tree on the block.

Weeping Blue Cedar Tree – the most awesome looking tree on the block. Doesn’t look like it needs a 14″ D x 24″ W hole.

 

Backyard before all the blooming.

Backyard before all the blooming.

 

Contorted Filbert Shrub. Also known as Corkscrew Hazel and Harry Lauder's Walking Stick. Looks crazy cool during the winter.

Contorted Filbert Shrub. Also known as Corkscrew Hazel and Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick. Looks crazy cool during the winter.

 

Twisted Locust. His name is Andrew. That's right - Andrew.

Twisted Locust. His name is Andrew. That’s right – Andrew.

 

 

 


Denied Solitude

I have an almost overwhelming urge to make chocolate-chip cookies. They are my favorite cookie, and one of my very favorite dessert foods. The recipe I use is stored in my brain. It’s a task that takes no more than 15-20 minutes. Making this dough is an uncomplicated process.

I cannot make chocolate-chip cookies, and it’s killing me.

I am an introvert, which may not come as a surprise to people who read my blog, and probably isn’t a revelation for anyone who knows me really well. And when I say introvert, in this instance I am talking about the the way I recharge. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, has a quote that about sums it up for me – “Solitude matters, and for some people it is the air that they breathe.”

We’ve had a house guest since the beginning of April. Our house is not huge, but obviously it can accommodate three people, and more if needed. The problem is that we’ve had a house guest since the beginning of April.

I would say that one of my best female friends is more of an introvert, and the other an extrovert. My husband is more on the extrovert scale, and my other best male friend is way opposite me on this scale. Which makes for an interesting friendship, but I think introverts need extroverts, and vice versa. Again, what I’m talking about here is how people like to regain their energy.

I never understood people that cannot be alone. We all know them, or perhaps one of you reading this is one. There are people I know who absolutely cannot stand to be alone. They feel bored, restless, and unhappy. I always felt bad for this person, feeling that they just don’t know How to be by themselves. But thinking about it in terms of energy, I can see how this might be an unfair assessment, although I think taking time for solitude is something everyone should embrace, even if it’s only a short amount of time.

There are activities I like to do when I’m alone. Minds out of gutters, people 😀  Dishes, for example. I really don’t mind doing the dishes. I like cleaning. I love using a broom. I love doing renovation work on our home. I Love to bake, especially the aforementioned cookies, and I write. All of these things hinge on being by myself. The weird exception to this is my husband. He’s the only person I can be around and still do all of these things, even if I would prefer not doing them while he’s home. Thus enters my quandary of late.

Our house guest is a relative, and for reasons I’m not going into, I understand that this person needed to be out of their own home for a little bit of time, however, not for this length of time. The extra icing on the problem cupcake is that this person really has no clue that I’m an introvert. The only time I’m alone is when I’m in the car by myself, and that is no place to relax. There’s always this person in my house. I can feel it in the air. I am an introvert who hasn’t been by herself in almost two whole months. I tiptoe around and hide my vast unhappiness. My husband tells me that I don’t need to stop doing the things I love, but he knows how incapable I am of breaking past this invisible barrier. Our relative isn’t rude or mean, isn’t trying to be in the way of our lives, and would not care in the slightest if I go about the house stripping paint or sanding the doorways.

I care.

I care so much that I’ve pretty much stopped doing all of these things, and when I do my cleaning now, which isn’t something you can put off, I’m angry about it. We have been spending a lot of time in the yard lately, which is nice. A literal breath of fresh air. I like getting my hands dirty, and my husband enjoys working in the yard much more that I thought he would. I have to say, as he’s the only person in the house I communicate everything to, putting up with my immense feelings of being uncomfortable and unhappy daily makes him eligible for sainthood. We’ve spent a lot more time since April being out of the house, which is also draining to me. Work has been extra stressful lately, which isn’t helping. My work environment is busy and loud, and full of people. No one should ever be happy to be alone in a public restroom, but sometimes I breathe a sigh of relief when I get a chance to step into the restroom at work. Unfortunately, bathroom breaks are an extremely short-lived respite from the world. The other really sucky thing about this situation is being a married couple with someone else staying a super short distance down the hall.

Beside the housework, my writing has stalled. My stress levels continue to stay high, even if I’m not outwardly showing it, which means I can’t write. I’m stunted in my ability to put fingers to keys, or pen to paper, and have anything creative flow out of me. I feel awful. My May Stories stopped, like a car hitting  wall. The novel editing I was doing back in February and March has fallen by the wayside. I don’t even open my writing files because there is no point. I already know my creative limitations when it comes to living in high stress for prolonged periods. The same thing used to happen when I played piano. My younger self would try to submit to the urge to play, try to push through the times when I felt aggravated or stressed or angry, but the music would not sound the same. I learned how my creativity suffers at the hands of mental unhappiness.

Our house guest isn’t going to be here too much longer. Things are getting back to where they need to be concerning this person’s own home, and I have an actual vacation coming up in June, with actual planned visitor/s. Now, one might think that trading in a long-term, unplanned relative for vacationing visitors would be more than I could handle, but I’m much looking forward to having the out-of-towners. People that know me well.

Besides the writing and housework, the thing that really gets me is those damn cookies. I rarely make chocolate-chip cookies with people in the house. Not the baking part. I love to grab the container out of the fridge once the dough is made and drop spoonfuls of heaven onto a baking sheet and 11ish minutes later share the warm, chewy goodness that is dessert perfection with everyone. But the making of them is sacred to me. I don’t make them often. Over the last several years, this cookie has become the thing I make when I get super stressed. It takes it away, and I feel unburdened afterwards.

For now, I’ll continue to go about my days looking normal, while deep inside, I’ll crave tiny bits of semi-sweet morsels, and dough in various stages. Oh, and if someone could do something about all the characters in my head who are indignant about my temporary abandonment of them, that’d be great. Maybe they’d like a cookie.

 


Forms in Nature

Forms in Nature.

 

I stumbled across this a couple of days ago. These artists are amazing, and this hanging lamp is crazy awesome. I’d love to have this hanging in my house!

 


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