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The Life of an Artful Otter
or, "Okay, what'd she get into now?"
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today was pretty alright. Last week I was inexplicably tired, distracted couldn't think...dunno what that was about. I made sure I got a little more sleep, and tanked up on the water... it took a couple of days but I'm cranking on nearly all cylinders... for now.

The weekend weather was abnormally warm, in the 60s . too hot for Ohio in January. It made me itchy to garden, knowing full well that the ground was a muddy, icy mess... at least a girl could dream... right? Nothing heinous to report... I will have to do some back filling... my usual stuff... odd occurences around the house and during the day outside... the passing of Bob the Cat last year in October... somber, heavy stuff. I'll get around to it. I did promise to keep this baby updated... I'm struggling, but I'm gonna....!!!

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Current Location: right at home/ in fact I AM home!!
Current Mood: hungry hungry
Current Music: just the usual clash of head noise going on

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that I haven't gotten down pat, keep recurring. I have always prided myself on being a good listener... but I keep being shown I'm not so much.... backstory later... I'm tired.

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: somebody fix it... it's baroque

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...in the saddle again. First full week back at work. Must.Remember.Not.To.Whine..I didn't want to retire... I needed my social contact... structure, all my friends are there. Which is a little hard to remember at 4:00 when the alarm goes off!! I'm going to bed early... so there, nyah.

Current Location: rapidly headed for crashing and burning
Current Mood: cranky cranky

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The first six days of the new year have passed, and there have already been real lows and some pretty good highs. While I know that this is going to happen, I wouldn't have expected the first week of the new year to be such a roller coaster!

I would like to announce my latest attempt at keeping this journal better up to date. I may have to return to the past to back fill a couple of days, but for the most part, I'mmo blog the hell out of the first part of the year... we will re-apprise the situation after the first three months to see how that works out for me...

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Current Location: slightly out of my mind today
Current Mood: amused amused

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Today would have been the birthday of The Queen. I decided to fly solo in celebrating her this year. After work, I went to a slightly upscale mall and roamed the bookstore there. After only a half hour, I found a handful of books I thought she would have enjoyed, and was determined to read them. Among the choices were The Dove Keepers, about the siege of Masada by the Roman Army. Only five people out of thousands walked out of that fortress alive. Mama was fascintated by this bit of history, and read everything she could get her hands on at the time. Alice Hoffman (the author of Practical Magic) researched for years before writing the book, it was very well written, but I couldn't bring myself to finish it... I knew the ending before I got there... But I did read most of it. The next stop was a kitschy boutique. I prowled the aisles until i found a clutch, and some jewelry that would have pleased her and called that a wrap. Then, it was time for dinner. I went to Mim's Cafe - and enjoyed excellent service and a wonderful meal. I even had a strawberry daiquiri for her, and a serving of bread pudding with a dollop of vanilla icecream. I was so full I could barely walk to the car, but I felt that had she been there with me - she would have had fun.... she liked book stores, she enjoyed shopping for accessories, and would have loved a strawberry (not my cuppa tea) daiquiri. Happy Birthday Mom...

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Current Mood: mellow mellow

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This week his lion's heart gave out. The weight began to pour off my brave old, good dog - he was so weak he could barely put one foot in front of the other, and yet he did. He spent the evening of the 18th curled up asleep next to me on the back porch. It was a balmy spring afternoon, the sun westering through newly leafed trees, birds singing. i'd taken one of his blankets, folded it into a pad, he settled onto it with a sigh and fell deeply asleep. We sat there for hours, I took a corner of the blanket to cover him when it chilled off a bit after sunset. Finally having to go inside, I helped him to his feet and we made our way upstairs. I offered to carry him one last time; he actually wagged his tail at me and forged ahead. he knew. he knew he was tired, this would be his last night with me, and he wanted to walk on his own. We get to bed, I turn on the electric blanket for the old man, and helped him up... Ray ray slept deeply through the night. I'd made The Call at the beginning of the week, his final appointment was the first one of the day. I walked backwards down the stairs ahead of him, Raymond steadily made his way down; he drank water, wobbled outside to pee then came back to me. The trip to the vets seemed to last an eternity, but we got there. I offered to carry him after opening the car door. Raymond walked on his own into the vet's. He wobbled and staggered, but he got there. Annette got us into a room and I made him comfy. The shot to release him seemed almost unnecessary - he was gone like a flame blown out on a candle - he was so tired. Raymond fought for 10 months, and only the final week was unable to gain or maintain weight; and even then he did what he wanted on his own.

I'm writing this entry as a back entry - It seems that i don't journal when I need to - rather I hold it all inside. I'm writing this from January 5th but wanted to make sure I hadn't forgot the day that Raymond Alexander Nelson dog passed on from my life and into the next. I still miss my jokester dog, the puppy i raised by hand as he was the runt, and needed a little extra help. He'd grab my gardening tools and would run off with them when i was working in the yard. Little things at first like hand trowels and gloves, but later he'd steal rakes (!) and would laugh while doing so. He protected me from another dog, and more than once offered to bite perceived threats to me. He had a shoe fetish, and would get off the bed to search out a shoe of mine, grab it - then return to bed to sleep on it. he was ticklish, and tolerated me teasing him. In the mornings he would stand rock solid on the bed, allowing me to brace against him as i put on my shoes. He loved to tease the newest dog I'd rescued, a little male terrier... by standing over the terrier while he lost his mind about being dominated. I still miss my big goofball and know that The Queen is lavishing tons of attention on him as she always admired his shiny black coat and sturdy build. I miss them both today in fact.....

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Current Mood: sad sad
Current Music: Funeral March... 3rd symphony

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This is day two of feeling like i want to hide under something. This has GOT to stop! I'm reacting to the post birthday blues, and a few other situations that are bothering me. A little journaling about it, and I should be good to go, right?

I've got a friend who in the past three years has gone through horrid events. She has lost her home to foreclosure, lost her business (although I'm suspicious as to how, now) lost her undoubtedly jerk of a boyfriend whom she lurves dearly, lost her father and her very old, very dear to her dog. She moved back home to Pennsylvania, twice. Started and lost a business, and had contracted Hepatitis C. The poor thing really has been through the wringer more than I could have and survived, but I am seeing underlying patterns as to why she is having some of her difficulties. Can't do much about death, which comes to all of us in some way other the other... but the businesses I think there's an element of inability to handle cash, or follow through or something. She will start out great guns, then will end up with her foot shot and usually through something she's done to herself. She's currently in PA, and when she calls I am treated to at least an hour of complaints. I'll cue up the 'net and will play solitaire, as she doesn't want any feed back, she wants someone to listen to her... I can do that. Usually after about 45 minutes, she'll wind down. I'll be able to make a few comments, and we are about finished with our conversation. She will be in town this Wednesday, and wants to meet for dinner... eek. And that leads me to my second situation...

In October of last year a friend's wife passed away rather unexpectedly while he was out of town. I found this out during a phone call from him when, in tears, he asked me to come to the showing. Since October, I've developed a routine where I will visit with him during one day a week, to give him a little companionship, and to keep an eye on him. The loss of his wife seems to have unhinged him ever so slightly, he's constantly complaining how things are being stolen from him, only to find them in different locations in the house. Items like his shoes, his tape measure, last night, his cat... which was simply in a different part of the house, listening to people looking for him and probably snickering under his breath meanwhile. Having dinner with my friend would mean an hour of fielding her negativity... she's lost a lot of folk due to her erractic behavior, and dating a man that's a trogdolyte. My other friend, the widower, is realy beginning to worry me because of his belief that people have come into his house to take specific items, a tape meaure, a 14 year old cat, a pair of deck shoes that have been worn, and he calls the sheriff to report these "break ins". O_o

Today, I'm debating dinner with one, checking on the other...and am not quite sure what the heck to do. I know I am not able to 'save' these people, and in no way have I convinced myself they can't exist without me. I don't feel as if I am being drained of life force or anything while with them... I think what this may boil down to is that I simply do not want to meet with either of them this week, and I'm struggling with feeling guilty about being "selfish". Hm. Well. I have things that I can accomplish that will help with my situation around the house. I will pick up dog/catfood and will do a tiny bit of gardening. I may treat myself out for lunch even... and this dilemmna will just have to marinade for a bit while I deal with my life for a little....

There, I feel better already... (kinda)

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Current Location: home
Current Mood: crappy crappy

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Yesterday evening, i drove through a severely massively scary thunderstorm for over an hour. It was just unfortunate the darn thing was headed in the same direction as myself. The lightning looked like strobe lights, the wind pushed my little Mazda Protege all over the road, I was barely able to see for the rain, and worriedly listened for a loud roar coming at me from the West as I drove south down I-71. Mark was spectacularly unhelpful with suggestions like "if you want to pull over"... in the middle of a darn field... I wasn't about to be a sitting duck for what could have been straight line winds, or a small tornado, so i kept driving. It took nearly an hour to travel what is usually a 25 minute trip, and we still were no where close to being home. We stopped at a restaurant to get out of the weather, have a meal and i really wanted a beer... or something. Dinner was very good, and by the time we were ready to leave, the storm (after waiting for us,...) went ahead and traveled on. I ended up with a migraine from the nether reaches, and today - i'm oddly wiped out. I'm not sure if that's due to driving in awful conditions, or due to the aftermath of having a migraine; I could count on one hand how many i've had in my existence. At any rate, not much is being done today, and there is sooooo much that needs to be done today!

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Current Location: wanting to be under the bed
Current Mood: drained drained
Current Music: none... ow!

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Going to work on my birthday really isn't all that onerous! I'm going in late (to cover my area late today) i'm stopping for some coffee and a breakfast sammich... and i'm working with people who i kinda really like! A win win for all of us... 'cause we know i'm kinda hateful when i don't like you. So, no special plans except I will probably have a lovely dinner with Mr. Nelson.. who plans on cooking scallops, wild rice and asperagus for a birthday meal and I'm down with that as well... see, with age comes wisdom.. or contentment or something... :)

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Current Location: at work soon
Current Mood: bouncy bouncy
Current Music: beatles, birthday song

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Quick, tell the truth about something!

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Uhm, I think I may have an inability to say "no" very effectively. Examples are my being roped into this weekend's baby shower for a practically unknown mama-to-be, my inhaling the two slices of pizza which appeared on my desk while i was at the office cafeteria heating my progresso high fiber, low fat, low calorie soup and feeling pleased with my dietary progress up to that point.

The result of this inability has brought me to the brink of telling lies(sorry President George Washington and on your birthday too!!) to get out of the baby shower, or having to get very, very stern with a friend for whom food is comfort and love. The former may be kinda easy, the latter - not so much.

I'm working up the courage to pitch the hand knit blanket I've finished at the grandmother, my next door neighbor who is hosting this baby shower,(not conveniently next door - but at a steak house I really don't like. The shower is for the girlfriend/wife of her middle son, neither of whom I could point out in a line up) explain I don't "do" baby shower games, then run for my life. Simultaneously I'm looking for the ability to be very stern with my friend about the evils of high calorie, and or sugary items; but not be mean and hurt her feelings.

While I might be able to wriggle out of guessing what type of half melted candy bar is being presented as "poo" in a baby diaper while eating a steak that's over cooked, I may still be eating double lunches next week. I think it's time I dragged out the stationary bike...

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Current Location: stuffed in my clothes
Current Mood: full full
Current Music: whatever the radio station in my head's playing at the moment

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Name: artfulotter
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