pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: August 2016

31 August 2016

It's a trap!

 
Admiral Ackbar
29 August 2016

These things are always complicated.

When the son was nine, he went to a birthday party where the parent gave each child a live goldfish as a party favor. Naturally, the son's poor fish died before he even got to the house, and the son was heartbroken. So I told the son we'd replace the goldfish, and when the spouse went to fulfill this commission, the pet store guy talked him into getting a betta instead.

Which is how the adventure in betta ownership began. Despite the cat's best efforts, Spyro lived a long and apparently happy life, racking up over five years in the large aquarium that the cat could not knock over or get into.

And that would have been the end of it except that somewhere along the line, I told the daughter that she could have a betta when she turned nine and she unfortunately remembered this promise.

I have been hearing about it on and off for the last 10 years because I have cheerfully failed to get her a fish.

For whatever reason, she got a bug in her ear last weekend about having a second desk in her room, and I was given the commission of getting this desk (because we allowed the son to have two desks in his room), and then the betta came up--accusatorily--again.

So Monday morning, while I was grocery shopping, I marched into the pet store and bought a betta. I texted her the above photo, and got back

"Is that..."
"A fishy?"

And naturally, it has been true love. She has named him Admiral Ackbar. I have already had to buy him a larger and more elaborate aquarium (no, I did not leave him in the cup for crying out loud but the 1 gallon aquarium was judged too diminutive for a fish of such outsize personality. Also, cat. Same cat, even.) The fish has responded by making a large and happy bubble nest, and I pass the daughter's room to find her cooing at him. He swims around approvingly.

All's well, and the daughter has no more blackmail material.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. Please let me make it abundantly clear that I in no way endorse gifting live animals to small children, and truth be told, I was livid a parent thought it was okay to a) use goldfish as party favors and b) foist a fish on me. We take animal care extremely seriously and never enter into it lightly. Just ask my vet.
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30 August 2016

Scatter crows and feel the gold light

 
Orange County, California
30 August 2016
 
Back in June, I decided that I was tired of the genteel (and useless and boring) doctor-and-p.t. approved exercise regimen (that I didn't do half the time). I was tired of being mostly out of shape, frequently ill and always in pain. So, I went back to my own patented guerrilla methods of exercise. I am up to an hour (okay a gentle hour, not like my previous near spinning class) on the recumbent bike and many days I can walk between 2.5 and 5 miles (and I managed a 15-minute mile today--not my previous 11-minute mile but better than I've managed in 5 years). And then weight stuff (hahaha, given the clavicle dislocation or whatever but I'm doing it anyway). So I'm more in shape, sometimes ill and always in pain. But I feel better overall.
 
IRL darlings: I have two choices. Piddle around like the doctors want and eventually end up in surgery. Or be me and eventually end up in surgery. I'll take the latter. Because it's that or take the long walk into the deep ocean and I'm not kidding.
 
I've traveled this road--this actual road--so many times in all the years that I've had to learn to walk again. And again. And again. Fifteen years later, I still stagger sometimes (perfect balance is gone for good now), and this morning, my damned right leg DID.NOT.WANT. But I pushed forward and finally at the end of 2 miles, I could feel enough of it not to be terrified of falling over.
 
Not dead yet.
 
Go listen to some good music:"Come My Sunshine" from the album Spells by The Comas. Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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24 August 2016

Ripper

 
He is, in fact, yawning
20 August 2016

Yup, I'm a terrible blogger.

I am resorting to posting photos of the cat yawning. What's next? A selfie?

(Short answer: no).

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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10 August 2016

You're mocking me

 
No Internet!
10 August 2016
 
You know how it is. You sit down to get some work done and no Internet! Your ISP says "Uh-oh, no one in your area has a signal. It's going to be 6 or 7 hours..."
 
So much for work.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. Yeah, probably the electric utility who is still messing around in the area.
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09 August 2016

Luminous


Milton
4 April 2008

He is one of my favorite subjects and being photographed is one of his least favorite activities.

But he's so cute.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40. And yes, I spent yesterday making 4 gallons of broth. .
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07 August 2016

August ritual

 
There's the beef
7 August 2016
 
For the last five years, I've been buying my beef exclusively from Star Brand Beef. Shreve raises her cows humanely and respectfully. They are grass fed and organic. You can read all about it on her site. Having the opportunity to purchase a year's worth of beef from her has made my life so much easier; when the spouse wants a steak, I don't have to worry about sourcing organic beef. I just go to the freezer.
 
So it happens that every August, we drive out to meet her truck and pick up our boxes. It's always a kind of festive day because many of the same people show up every year. We are devoted. There are hugs and a few moments to chat. Then it's away with the boxes and off to restock the freezer.
 
There is something slightly magical about subverting the system. A woman with a blog and a dream started raising beef and she sells it to other women (mostly) who have a similar dream--healthy food from happy animals to feed their families.
 
Tomorrow, I will take about 20 lbs worth of soup bones and make gallons of broth that will also be stored away for future use. Yeah, it's work. Yeah, it takes some effort. But to me, this is the definition of clean eating.
 
(And yeah, that includes all the salad I eat, which is not insignificant.)
 
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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04 August 2016

Beale Street


Beale Street
Memphis, Tennessee
30 June 2014

I was sure I'd posted this photo, but apparently I said almost nothing about the Memphis trip.

(Probably because I was chaperoning a high school group and it was a rather stressful week. Less said...)

Beale Street is pretty lively at night, and we did hear a lot of good music.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4.
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03 August 2016

Wonderland

 
San Antonio, Texas
31 July 2016
 
I can't even imagine calling a mall "Wonderland."
 
I read somewhere, sometime ago that the era of the mall was basically over, and this is a good example. Like so many strange, largely empty spaces you see these days, this was an amalgam of low-end department stores and entertainment venues like Inflatable Wonderland (we had to go check it out because...wow) with a food court. The reason we were here was to visit the movie theater, which was actually pretty nice with few chairs, wide rows and wait staff. And it's an art house theater!
 
As an aside: Captain Fantastic for the win. What a great movie. I'm so amused that people are calling it anti-Christian given the anti-Christian sentiments are illustrative of the main character's rigidity and personal failings. It's a movie about finding balance while seeking your higher good.
 
And while I'm at it, if you haven't seen Stranger Things, it's well worth watching. We binge watched it at D.'s, which was a blast.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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02 August 2016

Artsy!

San Antonio, Texas
30 July 2016
 
Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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