Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Curious

My entire "Reading List" through Blogger has disappeared. Maybe this is what other Blogger bloggers mean when they abstractly refer to "issues with Blogger" before jumping ship to another service. Many moons ago the hubster tried to introduce me to WordPress but it didn't take. 

I remember one of the blogs that I regularly read but I have yet to refill all my "follows." I may never regain the list as I don't remember all of them! Maybe I'll find some new ones. I am slightly annoyed and befuddled but overall not too upset. Sometimes I fantasize about a fire wiping out all my possessions so I don't have to fret about what to keep and what to toss, I guess a Blogger glitch is close enough.

In other news, I played a (kinda mean) game with Fio today. 

Not sure if I've mentioned it before but he has "blankies." As in, he picks a favorite blankie that we get for his crate and he humps, sucks, nibbles, and drags this blankie around with him for months on end until we eventually have to throw it out (his current blankie is near the end of it's life and looks like it's been attacked by moths or pirahnas). 

Well, he gets possessive of this blanket so I decided to play a little game whereby I took the blankie and made him wait to go get it back. The catch was that he would have to calm down before I would let him go to his blankie. Little did I know that it would take him damn near half an hour to completely give up, lay down and stop whimpering, rolling around, crawling toward, sneaking around, and otherwise begging for his blankie. 

Yeah. It sounds pretty cruel. But it was an interesting experiment and I felt like it was important to exercise dominance over the beloved blankie since he can get a bit territorial if the cats sniff or walk too close to it. 

Dogs!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Road Trip

I haven't posted recently but there is a good reason. The hubster and I were out and about this past week on a summer road trip.

The trip was a success but certainly not without some bumps in the road. We started the trip at my parent's house where we dropped off the pets and participated in the Warrior Dash 5k that we signed up for back in November.

Then we toodled down to Portland and visited the Oregon Zoo and McMenamin's Edgefield. We were a little surprised and initially disappointed that our hotel room at Edgefield didn't have AC or a private bathroom but in the end we had a relaxing visit and enjoyed walks around the grounds and an especially satisfying breakfast delivered to our room. I enjoyed a lovely massage at Ruby's Spa before we hit the road and headed east to Hood River where we toured Full Sail.

We camped at Cottonwood Canyon State Park and I had a rather miserable night as my sleeping mat didn't properly inflate and I couldn't sleep. The next day was supposed to be digging fossils in Fossil, OR but upon driving into the little town we found it to be overrun with wildfire fighters including a tent city over the fossil beds!

We were disappointed and a little worried that our subsequent activities would be derailed as well (especially since wildfire smoke got worse as we drove) but we were able to reach The Painted Hills and enjoyed the visit despite the smokey air and haze. We also visited Sheep Rock and the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center and eventually had a lunch break in John Day before my favorite part of our drive, a stretch of 395 toward Pendleton that was especially beautiful.

Our road trip then took us to the hubster's parents' in the Tri-Cities where we were able to make up sleep and rejuvenate for a few days before heading back to my folks' for dinner before gathering up the pets and heading all the way home. The next day we were pretty comatose and even Sunday involved quite a bit of couch time, funny how vacations require recovery time!

We really enjoyed the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and have plans to visit it again someday, preferably out of wildfire season so we can dig for fossils as well. There was an amazing display at the paleontology center and to sum it up in the hubby's words, "I had no idea Oregon used to have bananas." Yep, our minds were blown!

In other news, my best friend has moved to Oregon (definitely closer than Colorado and working all over the country on specific deployments for her job) and I hope to visit her very soon. The hubster and I have been talking about moving but it all depends on his job situation. It looks like we'll be staying in the area but are seriously considering moving to a little bit bigger place. It makes me nervous but I also relish the change of pace, I'm just afraid that we'll end up in a complex with worse neighbors or worse crime (not that this place is perfect by any means I'm just afraid of giving up what we've got for something not as good). It will be months before we know for sure what the plan is though.

On that note I think I'll go do some dishes and take a little walk, enjoy what I've got right now and make the best of things! Thankfully the heat has toned down a bit but I'm already looking forward to fall breezes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Hubster In ON This Week

Sure, my hubby is hot stuff physically but that's not really what I'm referring to! I'm referring to his insights this week and how he scored again by helping me realize that all my bitter, crankiness lately is probably linked to a self-esteem problem. Okay, maybe a sprinkling of hormones but mainly feeling insecure ;)

Comparison is a tough habit to break. Just like the negative mental chatter that goes along with it, comparing can be a sticky, sneaky force to combat. Often I slip into mentally talking myself down (self-harassment is what it is!) and the same slippery slope exists for comparison. Before I know it, I'm at the bottom of a self-esteem hill in a sticky swamp of insecurity with bitterness and anger whizzing around me like swamp skeeters!

So what to do? Mainly, I've got to flex some mental muscles and work on my resistance and that means boosting my self-esteem and working on loving kindness. Reminding myself that everyone is human and not exempt from short-comings and struggles as well as redemption and honor.

It's funny to see my perspective shift from thinking everyone around me is the problem when it's really my internal landscape that is causing the friction! Ah, but I've been here before and I know the way back. As satisfying as snarkiness can feel I know it's a hollow victory and actually hurts more than helps me in the long run.

Guess it's back to working on being a better person!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Wildebeest

There are some wildebeest next door. Namely, a cluster of children (no way to tell how many) that stomp and stampede up the stairs at all hours (most annoyingly at night after 11:00 pm).

Even more annoying is the 20-something that comes in at 3:00 am and chats with and teases her date on the landing outside our door. Klassy. Yes, he wants some. No, he has no clue you live with a pack of children.

Today I was skulking about the house with the lights off (it's been wretchedly hot for days now) and I heard the clamber of wildebeest on the steps. So what do I do? I sneak to the peephole to spy on the offenders. I suppose to see if they have some redeeming aspect or (most probably) to validate my view that they are in fact wildebeest.

The two boys stomp up to the door first, waggle the handle a few times before accepting it's locked. A larger teen girl with a rather morbid look about her follows with the father figure (who knows what the story is there but it was an older male) brings up the rear and unlocks the door.

I have a hard time hearing (partially my own damn weak ears and partially from spying through a front door) but they hear my dumbass dog barking his face off through the door (this could explain my difficulty hearing them) and the older male says something about us having a dog with or without a snide add-on (I couldn't hear) but for whatever reason the youngest wildebeest lunges toward my door, waving his hands and making some sort of face at where I assume he imagined my dog was.

They eventually disappeared into their apartment and I was left shushing my dog and wondering what the heck that was all about.

Who they heck are these people? Last I could tell there was some Boeing employee with some old folks sharing the apartment then the nice old folks are gone and the place starts filling up with randomly aged riff raff. I can't tell if there is a family unit or it's a clown car house with a variety of family bits shoved in for good measure. I've seen an older male, at least two 20-something females, at least three children, and another older male, saw a cat in a window and they have a dog I try to avoid running into on the steps and that they occasionally leave on the balcony (that makes me sad).

So confusing. I may have to start formal observation to sort this out.

In other apartment news the annoying (yes, I am annoyed by many of my neighbors) lot down below us got evicted finally. We weren't surprised. They left trash all over the back patio/lawn, junk around their front stoop, stickers on everything and litter as well. Glad to see them go but annoyed and concerned at the lifestyle and sad for the children.

It was a multigenerational family and I don't know what you call the "type" but they had a nice, newer car but couldn't keep their shit together otherwise. So either somebody lost a job recently or they just have a history of bad financial decisions. Either way, bad situation.

Jeesh. I'm a bit cranky. I blame the heat but I know I bitch and moan about the neighbors a lot. I'm starting to wonder if that's why people are so keen on buying homes and not this "American dream" bit? I'm sure some of the neighbors are legitimately offensive (lazy lady down the way doesn't pick up her dogs' shit, trashy guy further down yelling on his phone in the parking lot at the wee hours of the morning) but I think most of it is me being impatient and looking for something to bother about.

Whew. Just gotta let it go! Like the hubster says, it's all about my mindset.

Gotta be charitable and give people the benefit of the doubt.

Eesh. So much easier to be critical! I would've made a good fairy tale woodland witch I do think.

Can't wait for this heat wave to break. Some rain would be lovely too.

In other news we went for a hike yesterday at some ice caves (Big Four). It was really stinking hot and crowded. Biggest parking lot I've seen a trail in my life I think. Very nicely paved and easily graded hike yet there were some people with trekking poles and such (overkill). Lots of families and while there wasn't as much trash on the trail as I expected, there was some and it annoyed me. Shocker.

I'm seeing a theme!

*bitchybitchbitchbitch*

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dip

Been coping with a mood dip lately and struggling to de-stress, relax, and get a grip. Not feeling so well physically doesn't help the situation!

The hubster said something helpful this morning during our walk, something about how I set the mental tone in my head. If I think something sucks, it sucks. If I think positively about it, I'll be happier. It's simple, straightforward, and true.

Too often I let myself think "down" about things. I think it comes from a family tradition of pessimism that has somehow been mutated into a "realism" that is really just self-defeating mental habits. It's not stupid to be optimistic or positive! It's life affirming and useful!

So I'm going to give positive thoughts a renewed effort for the next few days and hope to avoid falling any deeper into darkness. I'm also renewing my efforts to get active (another side effect of not feeling so hot, I end up on the couch instead of getting active) and keep up with the housework. Between the sickly feelings and the darn heat I've been a bit of a couch slug (one step up from couch potato).

In other news I've been having some crazy dreams lately. One about being mauled by a bear. Another about going hunting with my dad and dodging bullets from crazy hunters around us. Yet another about a bomb scare on a field trip and one about some horrible bleeding (menstrual) at a party-that one nearly qualified as a nightmare though nothing near as terrifying as the bear attack. All in all it's made for some intense nights!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

That Infernal, Impenetrable Island!

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have many islands. Have I visited them? Not really... We went to Bainbridge once for an observatory lecture and I've been to Camano before but otherwise I'm not very familiar with the islands and traveling to them.

Which might make you wonder why the sudden need to visit one of these islands? It all has to do with my taste for vikings and Scandinavia.

Months ago I found a little advert for a exhibit at the Royal BC Museum called "We Call Them Vikings." Apparently this exhibit was created in Sweden and it's the first time the exhibit has traveled outside of Scandinavia. I was hooked.

Fast forward to this week when the hubbo and I actually look into it and we discover that the Royal BC Museum isn't in Vancouver as I had assumed. It's in Victoria. Whoops. No biggie, just a little more adventure, right? Turns out getting on and off that island costs an arm and a leg, especially if you take a car.

We may be Washingtonians but we ain't ferry people, how were we supposed to know? After an hour or so of trying to figure out the most cost effective way to plan this impromptu museum trip we gave up. With the other trips we are planning this year we can't spend hundreds of dollars for a museum expedition to that impenetrable island!

That said, if something falls through or circumstances changes it's still on our radar for a backup trip this fall.

And we have validated our land lubber's existence away from the necessity of ferries!

In other news, it looks like Fio's anal glands weren't cleared at the groomer's. Again. So time for another visit to the vet and a change of grooming services. Talk about a pain in the ass. ;)

I have had some mood issues this week, I think resulting from lack of exercise and too much stress. It came on in the evening and while I could feel the descent happening before I knew it I was in a frenzy. Nothing too dark or suicidal, thank goodness, but a sort of over-energized urge to pull my hair and scratch and thrash, it felt like I wanted to crawl out of my own skin. It was a very physical episode without the usual doom and gloom mental piece, just annoyance and concern at my crazy self! Thankfully the hubster stayed up and chatted with me until I was able to fall asleep but I have still have some work to do to regain more stability. I guess I'm going to have to get out in the heat and get used to it because trying to avoid it ain't working so well!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hot Weather, Slow Days

The hubby, Fio, and I went to my parent's 4th of July BBQ on Friday and had a pretty good time. My sugar cookies were a hit (didn't have to take any home) and my coconut cake was a little over half devoured. Don't think I'll go through the trouble of making that again unless I really, really want it-so many steps!

I enjoyed some of the fireworks but was mostly annoyed by the debris and fumes. Got bit a couple times by skeeters (itch-fest) but overall had a good time. I don't remember getting teased, which is a big success for me. While I would've liked to play some volleyball I know it would have lead to heckling that I wouldn't like. I've been standing up for myself more lately but I still have a long way to go!

In other news the hot weather has slowed me down recently. Taking walks with the dog is limited to morning or evening times and I've been slugging around drinking water all day with the lights off trying to stay cool. Thankfully my mood seems to be all right despite the lack of exercise. This week I'm going to refocus my efforts and get back on the horse, heat wave or otherwise! The hubster and I enjoyed our hike at Heather Lake last week and I hope we can get outside again next weekend.

Went to the movies for the first time in a long time and saw "How to Train Your Dragon 2." It was pretty good although a bit violent (vikings and dragons, shocker) and I would've liked to tweak the plot a bit but I enjoyed it. Very colorful and fun. Makes me wish I were an animator!

Whew. 9:30 at night and I'm still toasty! Time for a lovely iced beverage and some cartoons in this house!

Happy 4th everyone!