Weekend Coffee Share: The Post-Thanksgiving Coma

If we were having coffee, I would tell you all about our recent Thanksgiving activities.  If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I’d ask you how your Thanksgiving festivities went as well.  We’ll talk about all the wonderful food we ate, and how we are going to eat healthier promptly on Monday.  No sense in starting now with all the leftovers and cookie dough in the refrigerator.

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Weekend Coffee Share – International Suicide Survivors Day

AFSP_ISOSLD_logo-200x200-e1417445774523If we were having coffee, I’d first thank you for meeting up with me and invite you to tag along to a couple of events I’ll be in attendance today.

First is an event hosted by a friend in recognition of International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, which is today.  There’s going to be a screening of a film produced by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention called Family Journeys: Healing and Hope after a Suicide.  I believe she also has a speech prepared.  I am happy she is able to bring attention to this issue in our community by hosting.  She’s done a great job so far.  I do hope it will continue year after year.  You can learn more about it here and sign up for the event in your own community.

Unfortunately, I’ll probably have to duck out early to head to my friends’ house for a birthday party for their 1 year old.  I can’t believe it’s already been one year!  He’s gotten so big.  The theme is How to Train Your Dragon, and hopefully, he’ll wear his Toothless Halloween costume at least long enough for me to get a picture since we missed him on Halloween.

If we were having coffee, I’d also invite you to come back this evening to help us put together some raised garden beds for the backyard.  Don’t worry, dinner would be provided. Our previous garden beds did not stand up well to two playful pups, so reinforcements and fencing is needed to keep next year’s veggies firmly rooted in the ground.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you what your plans are for Thanksgiving, and I’d share mine.  We’ll be travelling to both of our parents’ houses for a meal, and hopefully we can squeeze in a little celebration of our own.  I’ve already volunteered our house for my family Christmas celebration.  Next weekend, you’re invited to come decorate with me.

We would laugh about how I finally surpassed 10,000 words for NaNoWriMo, and joke about trying again next year.  At least I’ve been reading more now that the weather has finally turned cold.  I am writing more, too, just not at the pace that my fellow WriMos are.  I still intend to finish.

overtureI am excited to tell you I finally received Sandman: Overture.  It was supposed to be a Christmas present, but Cam guessed what it was by Amazon’s not so subtle package.  He promised not to touch it until Christmas.  Like he has time anyway, with finals coming up and a CompTia exam scheduled in December.

I hate to rush off so soon, but we’ll see each other again next week.  And I’ll see you in about an hour at WKU’s Health Complex to learn more about supporting survivors of suicide.  Now, I’m off to buy a birthday present.  I believe my discount at the book store has come in handy this time of year.

Weekend Coffee Share – Thanks for coming by

CoffeeIf we were having coffee, first, I’d thank you for stopping by.  We don’t get too many visitors, and um, sorry about the pet hair.  If you ask me why I decided to take part in this particular feature, I’d have to admit that I’ve found it adorable.  Even though I usually don’t get the chance to post when the week starts winding down, I was inspired by an assignment for Blogging 101 in which asked me to follow up on a comment you wrote on another blog by writing a new post.  I had mentioned on another blog that I keep meaning to participate but never do, and was encouraged to do so. And so here we are.

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Go Play! Wrap Up

Cam and I jumped in an ongoing Challenge called Go Play! hosted by Nerd in the Brain. I found this challenge through Diana at Part Time Monster who hosted the October portion of the challenge.

Now that it has all wrapped up for the year, Cam and I looked back at all the things we did to participate.  Some of the things, like playing board games or taking the pups on hikes are things we do regardless, but it encouraged us to do them more often.  Other things, like take a picture with a statue, were things I would never care to act silly enough to do, but it was fun.  I wish we had the chance do to more of the whimsical things on the list, but we entered the challenge a bit late and ran out of time.

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The Hardest Job Ever

What is my writing space?

Well, the one in my head is a chaotic mess filled with thoughts like the above.  At least I’m in good company.  If Lev Grossman has thoughts like that and produce The Magician series, then maybe there’s a bit of hope for me.  Which reminds me–I need to read that series.  There it is again–that unfocused, easily distracted mind that tells me it’s just easier to read than to write.  Truth be told, I also regret not making enough time to read too.  Lately, I have started reading a book, then another, then another.  Now Goodreads tells me I’m currently reading 5 or 6 books, when I’ve actually only finished about 12 this year.

The physical space I write in is just as chaotic.  I don’t like to write at my desk at home.  First, it’s cluttered with bills, scribbles, unfinished to-do lists, and maybe a cat (who knows she shouldn’t be in that room, let alone on the desk).  I sit at a desk all day long, looking at numbers, so when I write, I prefer a more relaxed position.  Slouched on my couch isn’t the most healthy position for my back, but at least I’m comfortable.  I turn away from the t.v. and towards the kitchen.  One would think it’s harder to ignore the t.v. than it is to ignore my kitchen.  It’s not–especially when I haven’t done the dishes in over a week.

Finding the time to write and the space to write is hard.  It’s hard for everyone.  We all have our obstacles, from writer’s block to that inconvenient day job to playful children.  I don’t even want to mention the timesuck that is social media.

Why do we do this?  Some say writing is therapeutic.  In a way, yes, I can say that working my inner thoughts to the surface is somewhat therapeutic.  Honestly, sometimes, I feel like writing makes me need therapy.  When I sit on my couch, realizing I am about 3000 words behind on my NaNoWri project, I stare at my messy kitchen.  Then, that writing space in my head gets muddled with that ever-growing to-do list that I never catch up on.

Writing is making hard choices.  Of course, we make choices in our writing. That’s the easy part.  The hard part for me is dumping the clutter from my head, my home, my life to find an open guilt-free space to write.

Conversations With My Pets

“If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.”

-Mark Twain

Scout and Stella
Scout and Stella

One of our poor pups was not feeling so well last night.  As it turns out, they are both afraid of thunderstorms.  We learned this with Scout during the 4th of July, when the entire week was alternating between storms and fireworks.  I believe many of my neighbors felt the need to set off as many fireworks as possible as soon as the storms past each night that week.  More recently, we brought Stella into our family.  As it turns out, she is also not that thrilled about thunder.  So, now we need two thunder vests.  Lesson learned.

Besides that, they are both rather picky about when they want to be inside or outside.  Sometimes the rain doesn’t bother them, but sometimes it does.  Scout is a sassy teenager, for sure.  She only wants something when she can’t have it, and nearly refuses to do something on command without some coaxing.

I imagine our conversations go like this.

I really want to go outside.  Please open the door.  I need to go.  I really want to go.  Look at me, please!

“Scout, you need to go outside to go potty?”

Yes.  Please let me out.  I can’t hold it any longer.

I open the door.

I’m not going out there. It’s raining.

“Go outside. Go potty.”

I can’t go out there.

Stella darts around her and heads outside to pee.  She immediately runs back inside.

“Scout, are you going out or not?  Not holding the door open for you anymore.”

Make it stop raining.

I shut the door.

Please let me out. I have to pee.

I open the door.

You didn’t make it stop raining.

****

Sometimes, when I get off from work, I’m super tired.  I just need to change into sweats and get out of my uncomfortable work clothes, but it’s nice to see people excited to see me.

Oh my God!  She’s home.  Look, she’s home!  She didn’t leave us.

Cam just stands and watches.  He’s been home since 1:30.  I’m sure they did the same to him.

Mommy is home!  

Stella and Scout are both jumping on me.

You wore that to work today?  Ugh, it’s so ugly and bright white.  Let me fix that for you.  My paws are primed with the mud where I dug a hole under the fence.

****

There’s no need to forget my fluffy feline children.

Gracie generally sleeps in bed with us.  Columbus might if we’re not moving around too much for his taste.  Izzy will only enter the bedroom if no one else is in there; otherwise, she sleeps under the guest bed (I think she only leaves to eat).

Every night, it’s the same with Gracie.

Hey, you guys trying to spoon and cuddle.  Ooh, let me in.  It’s so warm between your heads.

We spend a few minutes twisting our heads in various positions in order to accommodate the purring machine.

No, I order you not to move!  My butt fits perfectly right here under your neck.

“Gracie, get out of the way!”

Absolutely not!  The more you resist, the more my long, lush whiskers will tickle your nose.  Now, fall asleep to the sound of my loud purring.

I’m not saying they run our lives, but if you read my previous post on our messy house, it would appear that they run the house and we simply live here with them.

Home Is Where The Mess Is

There’s nothing more exciting than buying a new home, moving in and updating it to reflect your own personality.  When Cam and I bought our current home a few months ago, we had visions of a beautifully manicured backyard with a vegetable garden and each room perfectly decorated to fit into the theme of that room.

The house was beautiful by itself, and it was the first house we viewed with our realtor.  I had eyed it for months while we saved the down payment.  When it was finally ours, we changed as much of the interior as we could.  Repainting, redecorating, undoing the little mishaps from the previous owner who fancied himself a handyman (but was clearly not).  We knew we were going to make the house even better than the previous owners.

As it turns out, it’s more like we’re “those neighbors.”  With two large dogs, they’ve gnawed on the edges of the deck.  We tell ourselves, “it’s ok, we were going to build a bigger deck anyway.”  My garden didn’t last their desire to dig (even with a fence around it and a separate digging box for them). That’s ok.  We will build a bigger fence next year.  With the late summer and autumn rains, their muddy paws streaked the siding of the house.  We just keep saying that we’ll fix and our home will be perfect.  We have a beautiful patio right off the deck with a lovely fireplace.  Until we moved there, I wasn’t aware that stones could be dug up from a patio with little doggy paws.

A month after moving in, I locked our cat in the closet and she clawed at the carpet.  No worries, we need new carpet anyway, because the dog got sick in the hallway and that won’t come up.  This morning, a huge gnawed hole in the carpet in our bedroom showed up.  Hmm, I wonder which of our four-legged critters did that?

I also keep reminding Cam that if we had kids, it might be worse, with Kool-Aid stains, crayon drawings on the walls, or even more vomit-y stains everywhere.  It could always be worse.

Now, I’m not saying we ruined the house.  It’s still in perfectly livable condition.  I’m just gonna say, we don’t really need that new carpet anymore.  What’s the point of new carpet if our cats are just going to vomit all over it too?

We had an idea of what the home was going to be when we moved in, but really it’s just a little bit bigger than the house we just came from.  It’s still a bit too messy all the time.  We blamed it previously on the lack of space.  Now we blame it on crammed schedules.  The beautiful kitchen I have now rarely gets cooked in.  I used to blame that on the terribly small kitchen we had at the condo.

Originally, we had the idea that the home would reflect our personalities, or maybe just the personalities we wanted.  Keeping everything spotless, cooking all the time, having regular parties were all things we envisioned.  In real life, we’d rather take the dogs on a hike or sleep in and read.  As it turns out, our home reflects who we really are–two people who have better things to do than worry about how perfect our house looks.