Monday, July 3, 2017

UBC Time Again - Ultimate Blogging Challenge July 2017

This year June turned into July way to fast for my liking.  Somehow as my birth month slipped away, another round of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge slipped in without me noticing.

Another change to get into a daily blogging habit, while finding new readers and getting the numbers higher on my blog.

Now, blogspot stats are not as all encompasing as I hoped, but since I an't monetize a free wordpress blog, it is all I have.  So lets take a peek.

Click to view large size.

So, this is an overview of June.  995 views for the whole month.  June 30 was my best day with 81 pageviews.  June 15 was the smallest with 6 views.  Not to shabby when you consider I only posted 2 new posts for the month.  And I have 56 followers.

Speaking of posts, Do Not Meddle in the Affairs of Dragons was my most popular post for the month with 96 pageviews.

So I'd like to see the number of views and followers grow, of course.

It will be interesting to see how my stats change by the end of the month.  Lets see what I can learn.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Oscar, the Bearded Wonder

Get this on a t-shirt at Amazon!
I am a person who has never NOT had animals.  Cats, dogs, chikens, rats, mice, fish, I've always had a critter.  I love them.  Animals are perfect and amazing and, for a friendless child like I was, they were my best friends.

Daddy used to call me Elmira, after the over zealous animal lover from Tiny Toon Adventures.

Sadly, in November of 2016 we lost our lab, Boomer.  Then in February of this year we lost our second dog, Rusty.

Since then I've looked at the local Humane Society website EVERY DAY.  I would look at cats first, then dogs.

Hubby and I had said we wanted a small puppy so our boys could grow up with a pup.  But puppies didn't come in often and went very fast.

Then, on June 21, the day before my birthday, I saw this face looking back at me.

I fell in LOVE with that face!  I squealed out loud and my husband came over to see what I squealed about and said, "Good lord, its a Werewolf."

Well the next day was my birthday and I began to petition for this pooch to become part of our family.  He wasn't a puppy, he was one year old.  Still very young and very playful.  But since he wasn't tiny still I thought I didn't stand a chance.

The next day we went to meet the dog, who was named Oscar.  He didn't bark, or jump.  He just pressed his face or the side of his body HARD against the door of his kennel.

Like I said, he was a year old.  Part Labrador and part Standard Poodle, he's technically a Labradoodle.  I've never been a fan of the 'Oodle designer dogs, but was still in love with this bearded boy pressing up against the cage door.

We asked some questions and found out he had recently been returned to the Humane Society.  From what I understand this was the 2nd time he had been returned. 

We took him outside in the play yard to get to know him better.  It was raining a little, but that didn't stop him from running around and playing.  He LOVES fetch.

He also knows sit and down, and will jump hurdles on an agility course.

Oscar is very ball oriented.  He will chase a tennis ball for HOURS.
Just to be fair, we did look at another dog.  She was older, around 7, and reminded my husband a lot of our dog Rusty.  Her name was Cupcake, but I really, really REALLY wanted the bearded wonder.  And we DID want a younger dog for the boys to play with.

Well, we had just gone in for a meeting BUT:

We bought a collar and leash and Oscar came home with us!

He has been a GREAT addition to our family.  He loves to play, and my youngest son espically loves to play ball with him. 

He's very smart, and we found out he knows how to shake hands as well as being good at sit and down.

His head is VERY furry, but the rest of his fur is short and coarse and he doesn't seem to shed much, if at all.  Sleeping in my bed he doesn't seem to have left any fur behind.

This, apparantly, is common for Labradoodles to be no or low shed dogs.

He does pull HARD when we try to walk him on a leash, but that's okay.  He's smart and I know we'll be able to teach him to walk like a good boy.

His first night home he slept all night in my bed.  He did bark and growl every time my husband walked down the hall.  The second night he slept in the living room with the boys and barked and growled every time I went to the bathroom.

Going "Gaurd Dog" in the middle of the night is really the only bad thing we've found about him.  Just can't understand how at least 2 different families have given him away!

I am very happy that Osar, the Bearded Wonder has become part of our family!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Do Not Meddle in the Affairs of Dragons

It is that time of year again when Noner ages another year.

On June 22 (Just 3 days away as I write this) I am going to turn 36.  As usual that makes me stop and take a look at my life where it is now, where it once was, and where I want it to be.  My reaction is pretty well summed up by this:

One curse of the ineternet is getting to see other people do amazing things with their lives on a daily basis.  Creating great art, teaching classes on things they love, owning/operating their own businesses, traveling to amazing places.

Meanwhile I'm over here knowing I might not even have a job after July 15th because after 12 years of service they've deided I'm not doing a good enough job.  Many thousands of dollars in debt after multiple surgeries (human and pet) the closest thing to travel I can afford is a trip to Target for toothpaste and toilet paper.  As for owning my own business, I can't even manage to sell stuff on e-bay, most less open the brick and moarter store I've dreamed of since my early 20s.

Yesterday while facebooking I came across this:

That's a lot easier said than done when you've faked it so long that you don't even know what "real" is anymore.

I work.   I wife.  I mother.

But what is my REAL?

Constants, I enjoy reading.  I enjoy art and crafts, though I'm not too good.  I like to write.

Writing.  I always wanted to be a writer when I grew up.  Repeated rejections led me to stop trying to get fiction published.  But I have my blog(s).

This is where the dragons come in.


 I've kept a blog since around 2001.  I've always wanted to make something special of it, to have a loyal readership and to be able to monetize it.

But making something of yourself in the blogging world is like trying to fight a dragon.  The odds are stacked against you.  And I'm not even a knight with a sword.  I'm hadly a toddler with a toothpick.

I would like to move from blogspot to wordpress, and have access to bigger and better blogging tools.  I'd like to host this on bluehost, because it gives me the lovely free domain with hosting.

Right now I can get 5 years for about $200 but......we don't have $200.  Remeber those many thousdands of dollars in debt we are?  Remember the possible joblessness come July?

Well, I started a GoFundMe in hopes of raising the $200 I need to start a "real" blog.

Of cousre the last Go Fund Me I made (to help pay for vet care for Rusty, who needed surgery and after care) got me 2 donations (thanks guys!) and one horrible comment telling me I should just let him die.  (Well, he DID die, so I guess I made at least one person in the world very happy).  I'm not holding my breath you should say, but one could hope.

Anyone wanna throw me a sword?  And let me borrow some armor?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Prowling Tiger - Wordless Wednesday

"Hello Beautiful," I said as he prowled by.
"How can a tiger be beautiful," my son asked.  "It can KILL you!"
"He could totally kill me," I told him," but he's still very, very beautiful."

He's only 7, he doesn't yet know that often the most lovely things are the most deadly.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Aliens in the Kitchen

 I've been up since 3ish with an upset stomach.  Much of the early morning hours were spent in the bathroom, sitting on the porcelain throne and reading Duma Key while I waited for my stomach to settle down.

Around 8, Parker ran into the bathroom looking terrified and shut and locked the door. "I heard something in the kitchen," he said. Paused a second, "And I'm ready for breakfast."

"What kind of noise did you hear?" He demonstrated a noise that sounded like a dinosaur in a movie and said he's been hearing it all morning.

The bathroom shares a wall with the kitchen and I had heard nothing.

"What do you want for breakfast?"

He bent over to look under the bathroom door. "A Poptart.  What are you doing in here anyway?"


Usually, me saying I'm pooping sends him running out of the room holding his nose.  I sometimes tell him I'm pooping even when I'm not just to get him out of the bathroom.  This morning he stayed right there.

He followed me to my bedroom while I get dressed and hid under my covers.  He stood in the hall as I looked in the kitchen.

"It looks fine," I told him.  "Nothing in here."

"So no alien?"

What sound DO aliens make anyway?"
(Bath Tub Aliens available on Amazon)

"No baby, no alien."

I tried to tell him he was probably still half asleep and dreaming the noise he heard, but he wasn't buying it.

At least now that we're all awake he is fine.

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Okay to Be Mediocre

Adulting Stickers (for moms)
Adulting is harder than it looks.
(buy me)

I adulted today.

I did two loads of laundry and cleaned the kitchen twice.

I went shopping and bought a cheap belt cause mine was being held together by masking tape.  And I bought a cheap pair of shoes because the sole was coming off of one of mine.  I looked at the desks but didn't buy one even though I really wanted to.

I fed my kids.  And played with my kids.

I did a lot of other things that normal people do every single day.

And I kind of want an atta-girl.  And by kinda I mean I very much want an atta girl.  I want my husband to notice that the kitchen is clean and the kids are still alive.

I'm the kind of person who needs a pat on the back from time to time but rarely gets one.  Then I get frustrated from doing the exact same thing every single day.

I've washed those same dishes every single day for 15 years.  The laundry gets washed and put away despite my urge to leave it all in the dryer until such time as I need to fish it out.  I put on shoes and pants on my day off for crying out loud.  Don't I deserve a tiny nod of recognition for being able to (pretend to) adult properly?

See, people think that "getting a trophy for participation" is a bad thing.

Clearly I am not one of those people.

Gold Thumbs Up Trophy
Awesome job being human today!
(buy me)

Why?  Because I'm normal.  I'm mediocre.  And just like the larger part of the world's population, I think it would be nice to be told "good job" from time to time.

I kept my kids alive today.  Way to go!
We all have clean underwear.  Great Job!
You didn't spend money you can't afford to spend.  Have a gold star!

Hell, sometimes I feel like someone should greet me outside of my bedroom door just to applaud me for getting out of bed in the morning.  Cause its hard.

Luke Skywalker balancing Yoda on one foot while doing a hand stand.
We don't all have the force, you know.
(buy me)

People like this Star Wars quote too.  "Do or do not, there is no try."

That is utter BS.

Why is our society so gung-ho to tell people they are not good enough?  Not special enough?  Not worthy of any praise at all unless they can be extraordinary?

Fish can't climb trees, and the average person isn't going to be a movie star, an Olympic Athlete, or be able to multiply in the thousands the in their heads.

The average person is going to be average every single day of their lives. And because the average person isn't "special" they don't often get the praise that everyone deserves.

Yes, EVERYONE deserves to be told they are doing a good job.  EVERYONE deserves a pat on the back.  EVERYONE deserves to be recognized for.

So, if you have someone in your life who does the same old normal things day after day after day, give them a gold star.

EVERONE deserves one.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Depression VS Bedroom Before and After

Depression.  It leaks out into every part of a sufferer's life.

Did you know that a dirty home can be a sign of depression?  While you might want to blame laziness on the filthy homes you see on shows like Hoarders, you can bet that most of them have underlying mental issues.

Depression can cause you to let your home go, and being surrounded by clutter can make you feel more depressed, which makes the clutter grow.

Eventually, it can get out of control.

I'm lucky.  My depression seems to come in waves, or spirals.  I seem to be at my lowest at the start of most months, and feeling more normal midway through.  That means I an get on top of my clutter before my clutter gets the best of me.

The past couple of weeks have seen me in a very low depressive slump.  And while there my bedroom, supposedly a safe haven, had become uncomfortably dirty.  (And this coming from someone who is not particularly tidy.)

Tonight, in under 2 hours, I cleaned up a large amount of what was making me feel bad.

Here are some before and after shots of my bedroom become a haven again:

An unmade bed covered with dirty clothes.

This first shot is of my bed.  Unmade.  Covered in dirty clothes and bags of shopping that have not been unpacked.  Not exactly something you'd look forward to climbing into at the end of a long day.

A neatly made bed with a double wedding ring handmade quilt.

Cleaned off, made up and topped with a beautiful HAND SEWN quilt made by my aunt, its much more welcoming at the end of the day.

A side table covered with books and clutter.

This one is a shot of my night table.  Not a night stand like most people have, but a long table.  So covered with books and debris that you can't put another thing on it.

And, for laughs, if you look at the bottom left you'll see a book.  The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up.

You can't make this stuff up you know.

A side table neatly clean, with a journal and candle on top.

Now, books back to their proper shelves.  Trash in the trash.  Clutter be-gone. 

There is my journal (previously on the floor at the right of my bed as you'll later see) and fountain pen within reach.  I could even light a candle in my salt lamp without setting the whole place on fire.  I can even reach my stereo to turn it on.

Not perfection of course.  The corner shelf needs love, and the under shelves are still a catch-all of craft supplies, but the top is peaceful again.

A messy room with clothes on the floor.A pile of clothes on the floor of a dirty room.

These two photos are of the floor on the right and left hand sides of my bed.

MOUNTAINS of clothes and stuff thrown on the floor.  I had to climb on the pile to set my alarm or reach my lamp.  Almost just to climb into bed.

On that floor, behind the green clothes basket, was my JOURNAL!  Clearly its not helping me out at all if its down on the floor not being used!

Look!  Now there is a floor under there!

Again, not perfection.  The clean clothes and bags of shopping still need to be dealt with, but for now its contained and not spread over the whole bedroom floor!
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