January Pains

Image result for january 8 2019 calendarToday is Tuesday 1/8/2019. Most of you know that but I need the reminder. My sense of time and date has been off since Christmas. My patience has been off for two or three days now. I have none. It’s gone. My ears hurt and that turns me into a whiny, stomping, toddler version of the Hulk. I admit it.

I’ve done a lot of jaw clenching and teeth grinding over the past couple of days because I know my mood is horrid. I get really annoyed about little things because I hurt and even small inconveniences feel like one more thing to put up with on top of the hurting. It all started on Friday or Saturday when my dog was enjoyingImage result for cold the cool air and the wind whipping through her fur and refused to come in. So I stood with my sweater wrapped around me in the fading dusk, calling and whistling for the brat to come to me so I didn’t have to traipse through the patch of woods near the house.

That thirty minutes of cold air blowing into my ears did me in. I am paying for it now. It doesn’t help that my day job entails wearing headphones for 8-9 hours and there is no sound level regulation. I mean I can turn the volume up and down, sure. Yet one call can be at a normal level and the next is eardrum-shattering loud. That means I am trying not to voice pain while frantically pressing the button to turn down the volume and listen to whatever the person on the other end of the line is saying.

entrepreneur-1340649_1920January is also the months of employment threat stress. This is true no matter where you work. January is when all those above you on the totem pole start getting a ton of pressure from all the ones above them to “trim the fat”. That can be anything from how many work hours a retail store is allowed for employees to how long phone calls take and how many you get through in a day. In a grocery store, they sometimes focus on items scanned per minute. So hours are cut or quotas are raised and everyone is pressured to do more with less or else there could be repercussions.

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Right now, in my current mood and with my aching ears it all feels like so much B.S.

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Allergies

Asthma_Medication_InhalerI am not feeling too well today. It isn’t anything serious, just a savage allergy attack, but it has me keeping my asthma inhaler close and a hot cup of tea closer. My eyes are itchy and it is hard to breathe. Poor Molly, my dog, has had to stay outside in the backyard today because I can’t take the extra allergy irritant.tea book

I’m not sure if I mentioned it before but we recently discovered that I am allergic to my dog. She is a mostly outside dog anyway so it isn’t too much of a problem. I let her in if it looks like rain or if it is too hot outside, of course.  She has plenty of shade and dry places to stay but she really doesn’t like water and her fur is so thick I worry if she stays out too long when it is hot. So despite me being allergic, she can often be found snoring in the floor behind my computer chair as I write. I just have an extra cup of tea and make sure I take my allergy meds. Today is just extra bad. I know it is supposed to rain tomorrow so she will probably be inside most of the day and it is just best to limit my exposure while I can.

Image may contain: dogHopefully, Molly will be well behaved tomorrow because she will be home alone for a few hours. There is a fall festival at a nearby Native American site that we are planning on checking out. The web page says it will be going on rain or shine. Today would have been a better day to go weather wise but tomorrow is better schedule wise for all who are making the trip. I am sure my mom will check in on her too.

 

 

Back to School and Bad Days

road-sign-940644_1280I’ve had a couple of unpleasant days in a row.  An inability to sleep at night has caused me to oversleep the past couple of days. Which means I have woken up late and the dog didn’t get to go out to do her business on time. So I have quite literally woken up to shit for two days.

As you can imagine cleaning up such a mess isn’t something I want to do before coffee. However, it is necessary. It isn’t the dog’s fault.

I am not sure if it is this unpleasant chore that sets my mood for the day or the lack of Exhaustedproper sleep but I have definitely been a grouch. Fighting the crowds to get the kids ready for school hasn’t helped. My youngest is in middle school and on the autism spectrum. He is high functioning so when he is having a good day you can hardly tell. But he is always very particular about things

For example, he will only wear khakis and shirts with Sonic the Hedgehog on them to school. It is his self-imposed uniform. Finding Sonic the Hedgehog shirts, until recently, has been an issue all on its own. Finding them in his size is an even greater challenge. Fortunately, he has a grandmother on his dad’s side with an embroidery machine.

doomSchool starts tomorrow. I am as prepared as I can be. I will be up by five in the morning because I know that if I want him to school on time that is when I must begin the day. I had nightmares all last night about being late and losing things.

Today I am trying to relax. There is a Native American thing going on at a local park that I want to go to but I am honestly peopled out. I also don’t have money to spare. School supplies and fees took more than I was expecting and I have to come up with a new way to juggle bills.

Right now I am watching a documentary series called Underworld At War. It is all about crime in Britain during World War II. The second episode was an account of Neville Heath; a conman and killer. It also covered the thoughts and challenges facing a school girl named Daphne, who fought to get an education during the turbulent times and realize her dream of becoming a teacher.

The now-retired Headmistress read excerpts from the diary she

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kept during 1940. She spoke of doing homework during air raids and by oil lamp. She mentioned the time a bomb went off just as her father opened a door and how the blast blew him back onto the stove.

It made me think about how valuable that once school girl’s diary is to history and how it now gives us a more complete picture of the era. Of course, that wasn’t why she kept her journal. She just used it to record her thoughts. She probably never intended to share those thoughts with anyone else.

Today we write blogs and share them with the world. We keep online journals that are accessible to people in countries we will probably never see. It is an immediate transfer of information on daily life.

My ramblings of a couple of bad days don’t hold a candle to watching your father get blown back by an enemy’s explosive device. The information I am sharing isn’t all that useful from my current standpoint. I share it anyway because it allows me to get thoughts and worries out of my own head. I doubt they will even be of any use to future generations, but it does make you pause to think. Daphne didn’t expect her words to hold much value either.

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Meeting Molly

Last week I wrote about the loss of my cat Max. I still miss him. This week I want to write about someone else.molly 3

This is Molly.

She is two and a half years old German Sheperd/Husky mix and, until recently, belonged to an 85-year-old woman in Georgia. Molly spent her days loved but on a chain in the backyard. Then her owner got sick and couldn’t take care of her anymore. Her owner’s son tried for a bit but he had health problems too. Soon Miss Molly was at the animal shelter and slated to be put to sleep.

Both her owner and her son were heartbroken. Molly was such a sweet girl and deserved better. So they reached out to friends and family on facebook, begging someone to adopt her before it was too late. Time was running out.

Then a distant cousin reposted their desperate plea. (Try to follow me on this connection, I know I should have created a flow chart but I didn’t think about it until now.) This distant cousin was my cousin’s best friend growing up. My cousin passed away at least 18 years ago. (We were very close but she had CF and was limited in what she could do. I grew up with asthma and so we bonded over our closeness in age and inability to breath.)

So here it is, a very long time since I have set eyes on this person, and I see a facebook post about this adorable dog about to be put to sleep just because she doesn’t have anyone to take care of her. I would have happily continued to care for my Max, but there was only pain waiting for him and eventually death. His was a hopeless situation. Molly’s was not.

I have never really been a dog person. We have Duke but he hardly qualifies because he

Duke
Duke

is so small. (But don’t tell him I said that.) However, my heartstrings were plucked as I looked at the post. I wasn’t ready for another cat, but maybe I could take in this dog who needed someone. We could sort of help each other.

I messaged my cousin’s friend, who messaged her cousin, and the race was on. We had to get her before the execution could be carried out. Sabrina’s (my cousin’s friend) cousin got her from the pound that night. Sabrina and her son drove down the next day. (My kid had a doctor’s appointment so we couldn’t go pick her up directly.) Then they brought her straight to my house.

At first, Molly was nervous and shy, though she quickly adapted. We’ve learned a lot about each other in the week or so that she has been here. She has learned that if I am writing at my computer and she lays directly behind the chair, I have to give her tummy rubs before I can get up. I have learned she has a mischievous personality and knows exactly how cute she is, and uses it to her advantage when she gets in trouble or doesn’t want to go outside.  Molly is very sweet and loves attention. I am still not sure that I am a dog person, but I do know that I am this dog’s person.

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Morning Magic

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This morning I let the dog out into our fenced in backyard and turned my attention to feeding my demanding felines when I heard him bark. It was different from the bark he uses when the neighbors are out and about. It was just a single bark with a couple of seconds pause before he did it again. Curious, I stepped out on to the back porch to see what he was barking at.

By this time he was back to sniffing clover and his normal routine. However, as I stepped out onto the back porch a big gust of wind ripped through the yard, disturbing the fluff from some dandelions. The fluff took flight into the air as a big cloud that slowly dissipated into individual seeds dancing on the wind. It was amazing. It was like dozens of tiny white fairies swirling around the sky.

So while I still don’t know exactly what caught the dog’s attention, I am glad he barked so that nature could attract mine. The cats, on the other hand, were unimpressed about the delay in serving breakfast.

Literature In School or How The Dog Dies

My daughter is in the 6th grade. She has enjoyed most of her class, as much as a 12 year old can anyway. She does have a reoccurring complaint about the curriculum however.

It is a complaint that I echoed at her age and still ponder to day. The friends I have spoken with about it have the same issues. We can all agree, that while well written, they could have chosen better books for required reading.

I am not a dog person. I like dogs. I like most animals. I will happily play with and pet a dog. I had an absolutely amazing terrier mix as a kid who would go fishing with me and was smart enough to know when I had a fish hooked.  However, I am not really a dog person. As in I don’t think I am a good dog owner. They deserve more love and attention.  Cats on the other hand never ask for love or attention. If they want it, they take it and it doesn’t matter what you are doing at the time.

My cats are one of the reasons it is important for me to reread things I have written. Not only are there my own mistakes to look out for, but the keyboard sometimes gets walked on when I get up to get coffee. There won’t be a cat insight when I get back, but the evidence remains.

Some of you are wondering what that has to do with books and school. Well, when I was in middle school the preferred reading was every well written book where an animal dies at the end. Most of those books were dogs. Yes, they were heroes first but they still died.

Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, Black Beauty, Frankenstein, Animal Farm. These are all bloody death books from when I was in school. Good books from the vantage point of adulthood but when I was a kid I wasn’t so pleased.

Like my daughter said: “Why do they make us read books where everything dies? Isn’t life depressing enough? Are they trying to drive up the suicide rate?”

The thing is she has a whole new batch of books. They are ones I have never heard of but the theme remains the same. Someone or something dies at the end. I have to wonder if all of these authors read Romeo and Juliet and thought “Yep that is the way to go. Kill them at the end.”

If they want kids to read about death and such at least give them something else to focus on than a mom dying of cancer or a dog with rabies. How about some science fiction? How about the Hobbit? Yeah, some of the kids wouldn’t like it and a lot of parents don’t like their children getting wrapped up in fiction “nonsense”. But good heavens, Stephen King has happier endings than some of these things.

I am fortunate that both of my children like to read. The library is a fun place for us. Some kids don’t and the only exposure to books that they get is the enforced reading in schools. It would be nice if they got a chance to read something where, just once, everyone lives.

Sibling Rivalry?

dukeMy ex-husband and his wife are moving west. In preparation of their move they are condensing their worldly belongings and looking for homes for the pets they can’t take with them. That is how I ended up with a teacup Chihuahua. To be honest I am not really a dog person.

I isn’t that I don’t like dogs. I do. I love to play with other people’s dogs. I just don’t really see myself as a dog parent. Especially when I have seen guinea pigs bigger that the dog in question.

In my experience little dogs tend to be yappy needy things I don’t have the patience for. Yet, when my son looked up at me with those big blue eyes; I caved and agreed that it would be best for the dog to go to someone he was already familiar with. (Yes I am a sucker. That is how I ended up with three cats rather than just the one I planned on.)

So far Duke Tiberus, a.k.a the dog, hasn’t been too much trouble. He likes to sit close to whomever is home and he shivers a lot but he doesn’t argue when I give him a bath and he allowed me to attach a bow tie to his collar. (Because bow ties are cool.) He lets me know when he needs to go out and he eats very little.

However, all is not peaceful in my house. I have three cats. They were not happy about the

Panda
Panda

introduction of a dog into their household, especially my son’s cat Casper.

I expected more trouble from Panda, the eldest of the three and self appointed queen of all she surveys. She responds to Duke more along the lines of “What the heck is that?! Keep it away from me!”

Max
Max

 

 

 

 

Max, our blind kitten and youngest, just keeps his distance and sneaks up for a sniff when the dog is asleep. Casper on the other hand is not happy. My son is his person and now his place on the bed and in cuddles has been taken by this tiny thing that isn’t even as long as his tail. He hisses and spits and chases the poor dog up and down the hall. Whenever he notices Duke attempting to get close to me, he quickly claims my lap.

Casper
Casper

(Neither one ask for my opinion.)

Duke Tiberus has only been living with us for a little while. I am hoping things will settle down and they all learn to get along. Since he lived with a cat before, Duke is fine with his feline brothers and sister. He used to sleep and cuddle with the cat he lived with. I am sure he would do the same here if they give him the chance.