Little Wins & Blessings

Moose and Misty

Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten a new computer and seriously – I mean seriously – questioned even bothering to reload 99% of the programs you had on your old computer. The headache promised with such an endeavor clearly gives me pause. Do I really need Microsoft Office?  OK, as a writer, I probably do (grumble). Scrivener, do I need to keep my novel in progress?! Do I REALLY?! How about all that financial info on Quicken? Who needs it, right?!  OK, the organized, ducks-in-a-row side of me swings a heavy bat so, yeah, I guess I’ll put that on, too. How about Fitbit? Would it kill me not to track my every waking breath and movement??  A-ha! Finally! One I can live without but, heck, I’ve come this far loading Office, Scrivener, and Quicken, I might as well load the Fitbit app, too. Dang it. So, after I’ve mentally sorted out what programs … Continue reading…

Goodbye Thorne, Hello Nuance

Love this moment today

Not to put a damper on anyone’s summer fun; after all, it seems like we just got done with winter (and some of us are still keeping our pellet stoves on standby), but we in the Northern Hemisphere have already experienced “the longest day of the year.” Technically, the length of the day itself hasn’t changed – it’s still roughly 24 hours – but the number of hours and minutes we see that great yellowish orb in the sky is at its peak. That’s right, folks, it’s the Solstice. After June 21, the Solstice and the first day of summer, we’re on a downhill glide back into winter. Can you smell the pine-scented candles? Halloween is a mere 129 days away, Christmas is only 184. Let that sink in for a moment…. OK. Moving on. All good yogis know that the key to happiness is to revel in the present moment, … Continue reading…

Reuniting K9: A Happy Story

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving home, really looking forward to a nice, relaxing evening. As I puttered along the county road, I went around a curve and saw a small black lab standing smack-dab in the middle of the pavement. Cars were coming from the other direction, swerving around him, and he just kinda stood there like he was thinking, “Cars are neato!!”  He wore no collar and I could tell immediately that he wasn’t your typical country dog. He just looked a little too much like he was absolutely drunk on freedom. I pulled over and rolled down my window. Bounding up to my car, he jumped up to say hello. Wiggling and delighted to meet me (which is awesome for my self-esteem, by the way), he was one of the friendliest dogs I have ever met, an absolute love. Well, I couldn’t just leave him in … Continue reading…

If You Can’t Say Something Nice: One Writer’s Leap From the Backspace

The Backspace key on her keyboard was so worn, the “ksp” was completely missing. She called it the “Bacace” key, and she liked to say it in fake Italian accent. Bah-KAH-che. She had no idea if “bacace” really was an Italian word or what it meant. She just liked the sound of it. Bah-KAH-che. And it had served her well. For her, writing was the only way she could form words. Get her in a room of people where opinions and ideas were flying, and she felt like running. Her tongue would seize. Anything she knew about the subject would scatter like disturbed seagulls in a city park. Her mind would flee. Her words would become tangled. But writing was better. With writing, she could backspace her formed words and reform them if they didn’t quite say what she wanted, or sound how she wanted them to sound. She could … Continue reading…

The Things We Keep

I’ve spent the evening backing up files. I don’t know why I always wait until my computer is exhibiting signs of pending terminal failure to do this. When it comes to computers, it’s like I’m a procrastinator in the league of Scarlet O’Hara, or I just feel “too busy” to do it. The funny thing is, I know that there are plenty of ways to back up my computer quickly and painlessly, but I just don’t take the time. The best way, of course, would be to do it frequently so it’s not such a chore. But in my world, “just get it done” applies more to dishes and workouts than saving files.  Isn’t one of Dante’s levels of hell in the Inferno reserved for chronic computer backup procrastinators? The tenth level, I think, and I’ve got my spot all picked out. As I skim the files in Windows Explorer, … Continue reading…

Hawk and Squirrel: A Short Fiction in Pictures

  Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. All names have been changed to protect the innocent. No wait, really it’s just that there are no such things as Demon Squirrels, only poor photographers). No hawks, squirrels or fawns were harmed in the capturing of this story. And, if you’re one of those people who really like facts, the truth is that the hawk never even saw this particular squirrel, as far as I know. He or she was, in fact, going after a particularly juicy field mouse at the time I snapped the photos (astute connoisseurs of fact will have picked up on this tidbit already since the hawk was in a field and the squirrel was in a tree). Anyway, for all I know, hawks don’t even eat squirrels.

July: Beauty With a Side of Ouch

Here it is, the last day of July, 2016.  How was your month? Let me catch you up on how mine went down. First, I lost my crown. Figuratively, of course. While trying to gnaw off a small bite from a Zero bar, my four-year-old dental crown popped off. Fortunately, I caught it. Then I painstakingly cleaned it and saved it in a plastic bag, which went right into my purse. Dental work I’d been avoiding suddenly seemed unavoidable, so I called to make the dreaded appointment. “Do you still have the crown?” the receptionist asked. “Of course. Of course I do. I have it here somewhere,” I said, fumbling around in my purse for that damned plastic bag. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be found.  I truly had lost my crown, literally.  Even more unfortunately, insurance will not cover it as it came out after “only” four years. Had it … Continue reading…

House Sitting Quirks

It’s time again for my annual excursion to beautiful Clark Fork, Idaho, for some house sitting fun.  This is the few days a year where I break from routine, settle in to my parents’ empty house, and act like I own the place. First, I have to say, thanks to my parents for making their place so gosh-darned inviting.  Their cats are cuddly love monsters. Their cupboards and wine cabinet, fully stocked (and permission to raid them, granted). Their garden even had one welcoming ripe radish for my salad which, by the way, was lovingly made with home-smoked Kokanee salmon (I’d show you a picture, but I already ate it and, anyway, this isn’t Instagram).  This is vacation-me talking. Reality-me says, “Holy smoke! How do they do it?!” Kudos to my parents for the time, energy, and devotion to keep such lovingly tended property, lawn and garden, where I could … Continue reading…

February Commitment: My Loyalty Cocktail

As I snapped the leash on Luna, our three-year-old bundle of Husky-shaped trouble, I told her, “If only you could be trusted not to run away and chase things, we could let you off this thing.” We live in the country so off-leash dogs are common. Those dogs, like our trusty 15-year-old flat coat retriever, Moose, want nothing more than to sniff things in their realm and know better than to chase deer or stray too far from home. Luna gave me a look that said, “Try me,” but I knew that look. I knew it spelled another runaway dog retrieval mission so I didn’t even take it seriously. I knew that it really meant, “Try me, foolish human.” Then I thought about loyalty. At first I thought that she lacks it. Unlike Moose, who follows me from room to room, Luna doesn’t seem particular about the humans in her … Continue reading…

Clean Floors for Dirty Paws: Tradeoffs in a Life With Dogs

Wipe Your Paws Floor Mat

I’ve heard it said that cleaning with dogs in your house is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos. Indeed, it is an exercise in futility. I can prove it.  Below is a photo of my floor less than two hours after it received a good sweep, vacuum, and mop: Why, oh why, did we opt for the Brazilian Koa laminate instead of a splotchy dark brown carpet with a doggie footprint pattern? It seems that would’ve been the safer way to go. It would’ve been the way for people with OCFD (Obsessive Clean Floor Disorder) to go. If you haven’t heard of it (and I’m guessing you haven’t since I just made it up), OCFD is a genetic disorder passed down from mother to daughter. The chief symptom of this disorder is fretting about the state of your floors, especially when the sun shines on them just … Continue reading…