Tuesday, June 27, 2017

June 27, 2017 Brownie's adventure

The other day, Brownie caught my attention. She has been cooped up in the corner of the bedroom with my Buddha. She wanted to go for an outing, so I made sure to pack her with me on my way to work. 

She spent the day on the dash of the truck waving to tourists as they drove by. That’s a lot of hard work. On the way home, we stopped in at the Coolidge General Store. I had a surprise there for her, stuffed buffalos! She was super excited about that. She had seen the real ones passing by the trailer on several occasions and thought it would be fun to ride one. She was happy to ride the stuffed one in the store and to take a rest with the baby buffalo too.

The next day was my day off and I planned to hike the Lover’s Leap trail. It’s part of the trail challenge in the park, hike 8 specified trails in the park by July 16, collect a stamp on a card for each one and turn it in at the Visitor’s Center and  receive a special gift. I like this trail. It meanders along a creek with plank bridges before going up through the ponderosa pine forest to a rocky outcrop with a wonderful view. So Brownie and I packed up and headed out for our walk in the woods. 

sitting on a rock in the creek
We took a break near the creek, some time for meditation until the flies started to bug us (pun intended, they are relentless). It was nice to sit and listen to the water burbling along over rocks and logs.

walking across the plank bridge

Then we made our way up the hill to the viewpoint and rested there for a while, enjoying the view and watching clouds drift by.

bears do like to climb trees

not too close to the edge, Brownie

yippee! another trail completed!

Last stop was at the box to pick up the stamp on my card and we headed home. We didn't come across any buffalo today, but that’s okay. There will be more sightings and I would rather not run in to one on the trail. 

It was nice to have a little bit of company on my walk, even though she doesn’t talk back. It’s like having someone else with you who actually does see things differently than I do. It helps me to see what is out there, to take a pause and notice. We can be so used to going about our daily routine that we forget to notice what is around us. I just happen to be using a small 50 year old stuffed bear to help me once in a while.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20, 2017 Cleaning up my Facebook timeline

One good thing about having some time on my hands is it gives me the opportunity to clean-up my Facebook account. I have a specious attraction to it, therefore I haven’t always been good about deleting old posts. Did you know that if you want to delete many old posts there is no way to select more than one at a time? I checked the help menu and the answer is, “that feature is not available at this time. With over a billion users, your feedback is important to us. Click on the link to leave your comments.” I think if people are asking for it on the user forum, it’s high time to get that feature on the menu. It seems like people, like me, are wanting to keep things relevant and we haven’t always been good about deleting things right away. Now there is the daunting, time consuming task of going through all you old posts, one at a time and deleting them. You can’t even jump back to a specific year, you have to scroll through everything in chronological order. 

So, you go to your Timeline, select the more options arrow thingy on the right and select delete, then you’ll get this message:

Every time. So I have to click twice to delete. This would be a good project for someone who just had foot surgery, or a broken ankle and they aren’t very mobile and need a sit down project.

It is sort of fun though, and adds more time to the project to see the old stuff. The fun quizzes I did, that are based on what Facebook extrapolates from my post. Like where I would be living in 5 years. Two years ago the result of that quiz was Rome, Italy. I retook it and now it says I’ll be living in Hawaii. 

My four letter word: pure

I’m still a Pirate for my profession in a previous life.

And I am still borderline genius! (would have gotten 100% on that this time, but I pressed on the wrong answer button on one question).

Then there are the poems I posted on Poetry Mondays. I think we need to resurrect that at least once a month. I’ll start now even though it’s not Monday. This is one of my originals, called “Nature”

I sit creekside and wait for
the sounds of nature that
awaken the day.
The flow of water, unending,
a bird in the distance whose
voice is unfamiliar.
I feel the air warm as the sun rises
over the hollow.
I smell the greenness of the
forest, the dull smoke of wet campfires.
A heron glides by silently.
Children are now awake and send
ripples through the sounds of nature,
but are they
not part of nature?
The sounds of nature continue to unfold with the day.

So I might suggest, if you have a Facebook account and post regularly, to begin regularly going in and deleting a post after it has been up for a week or so. Then scroll back and delete a few more while you're at it. That's one way to begin getting rid of those old posts.

And now for your buffalo photo for the day, this big guy was having a rest just by the side of the road on my way home from work the other day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

June 14, 2017 Life in 300 square feet(maybe less)

living room
You’ve heard the saying, ‘a place for everything, everything in it’s place,’ no more true than when you are living in a small space. It is crucial to our mental well-being to be sure we put things away when we are done with them. We make an effort to keep the dishes washed and put away, keep the kitchen counter clear, and clutter picked up off other horizontal surfaces. 

The dining table has a neat feature, half of it is on a hinge and lifts up to reveal a two inch space of storage. Great for our laptops, but that means in order to get them out, there can’t be anything on top of the table. I’m sure it will come in handy when we are mobile, but we found it doesn’t work so well on a daily basis because we use our computers everyday. 

Our beautiful wooden bowl we brought to use for fruit has become our inbox, storing pens, what little mail we get and random scraps of paper. 

The bedroom doesn’t allow for any clothes to be left laying around. We have an assortment of over-the-door hooks to try to get things up off the floor for those things we wear most days, like brown shorts and lime green shirts. Ruby has her spot on the bed, and I do have space for a small altar next to my side of the bed. Shoes reside under the edge of the bed stacked on top of each other.
whole house view
The general living quarters are pretty cozy and comfortable. The trailer didn’t come equipped with standard RV recliners which allowed us some extra space. We brought along a chair I had bought for the house, and of course, Ruby has taken over that too. The cats have their sleeping boxes and they do spend a lot of time there, when they aren’t sleeping on the bed or my chair. They like to sit on the back of the chair and the couch and I put a box on one of the dining chairs so Toby can see out the window there too. (who owns who?)

most of the bathroom
We all share the same bathroom, note the litter box in the bottom right corner. Works pretty well except the cats can't reach the switch for the fan, so I have to turn it on and off for them after they do their business. 

We have good internet service and the t.v. works. Not that we spend much time watching t.v., but it is nice to occasionally sit down and watch a show we enjoy.

The other thing nice about this space and what I would recommend for any RV owner is to have hard surface flooring. Carpet is hard to keep clean. There is so much stuff that gets tracked in, it’s nice to have a smooth surface to just sweep instead of trying to clean carpet. 
the oven storage

We have managed pretty well to become used to moving around each other taking turns in the kitchen when getting ready for the day and giving each other some space. It will sure be nice when we have more level ground so we can set up our outdoor room. We had counted on being able to do that, but the trailer is perched on the most level area, everything around us slopes up or down, and then there is the pervasive odor from the garbage compactor(which is now an open dumpster because the compactor is out of order.) Not very happy with that at all. We had better be moving in two weeks to our new location. We are also on mouse #6. I get that we are in a field, but no one else is complaining of having mice in their trailers, even the people without dogs.

All part of the adventure. And at least some of the neighbors are quiet.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June 8, 2017 Cats and dogs and Ablaut Reduplication

Somehow, somewhere this paragraph crossed my vision.

“Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out.”

The full article, by Mark Forsyth can be read here:

As I claim to be a writer, it of course piqued my interest. I took some English classes in college, but was discouraged about writing or being an English major. How does an English major make a living? One could become Garrison Keillor and have a radio show, or David Sedaris and write funny stories about life, or be a teacher. Radio didn’t seem like a way to go for me, and at the time I didn’t think I was very funny or even interesting. And I did not want to be a teacher. So now I am practicing my skill and trying to learn stuff I could have learned about writing a long time ago. Never to late to learn something new. And you have to suck at something before you can get good at it.

So that rule is why I title this posting, Cats and Dogs instead of Dogs and Cats. But I don’t know where that puts tit for tat, or pitty pat. I guess as with all rules there are exceptions. But on to my story.

Our neighbors have two very cute, little, not yappy, female dogs. Dixie, looks like a cross between a Chihuahua and a Boston Terrier, and Lizzie is a Shih Tzu. 

We have our two fat cats, Ruby, a tortoise shell, and our big boy, Toby. Toby is interested in dogs, curious you might say. Ruby, on the other hand, is not. At. All. 

what are those things over there?

Please, oh please!?

I said please!! Mom, let me have it!

The other evening, the neighbors, Terri and Mike, and Jay and I were all sitting around visiting, the cats were in the doorway, the dogs on their leads. The dogs saw the cats and the cats saw the dogs and were very interested in each other. Lizzie especially so. She was up on her hind legs, both front paws in the air, frantically waving them as if to say, ‘I want, I want, I want!’ like a little kid in a candy store. Toby was mildly interested and made his way down the stairs to sit under my chair. Lizzie dared to come closer, but Toby didn’t want her to. Good thing he was close so I could grab hold of him as he puffed up and tried to take a swipe out of Lizzie’s nose. Terri pulled her back quickly, out of his reach. Ruby and Dixie were both calmly watching all the action from a safe distance.

I guess they won’t be BFF’s any time soon. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017 Constructive criticism and positive feedback

Keeping an open mind and being receptive to comments and criticism is an important aspect of life. We don’t all have all the answers to everything life delivers all the time, so why not listen to what others have to say. Maybe it will work for me, maybe it won’t. 

Recently I was offered some advice from a very wise woman. Over my life she has always been there, to guide me, to help me see the error of my ways at times, other times to just sit back and let me fail on my own. These failures helped me to learn and to be able to pick myself up and start over. Many times she has given me advice, sometimes I didn’t listen and even though she may not realize it, there are many time when I did listen and take heed to her advice. 

This time, the advice was about the type of photos I share on this here blog. She pointed out that yes, landscapes of our beautiful country are nice, but how many green meadows, sweeping vistas and mountain tops do people want to see? Especially when there isn’t much context to the picture. Though I was there to have that experience and want to share it with you, my readers, it doesn’t really tell a story.  She says to show something with more human interest. Her comments made me think about what I was seeing and a good reminder to look beyond the forest. She reminded me to look deeper, to notice details and to bring a human element into what I want to share. Thanks, Mom.

So instead of another photo of a lovely forest path, I bring you my bike. It was a nice day for a walk in the woods, this trail followed a creek up to Center Lake. There were several small dams, people fishing along the way and then at the lake, kayaks and canoes and turtles sunning on a log.

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.
Vincent Van Gogh

Just a simple reminder for me to look beyond. Maybe a simple reminder for you too, look beyond what you think you see. Notice what is there.

July 28, 2018 It's been a busy month

It’s been a busy month. Brownie at Black Elk Peak aka Harney Peak After we shipped our grandson back home, we rested a little t...