Survived another year

The university’s graduation was on Sunday, so I’ve officially survived another year at the job, and my first fully year in the new position. I’m not sure how well I’m doing surviving my non-job life. Sippy has been to the vet twice in the last month, because she’s been coughing again. Josey has been to the vet … I don’t know how many times, because allergies and possible kidney infections, and she’s contemplating another trip due to unexplained barfing. Delicate little princess. There was some concern it could be diabetes, except that unlike Sippy, Josey has not lost any weight. In fact, she’s up a few pounds.

But then hey, so am I. I’m trying out this new psychological effort on myself. Instead of giving myself orders about what I should, need, or ought to do, I’m trying to state what I want. Because I do want to eat better and exercise more. I do want to lose some weight and fit into my summer clothes. Not that I need them just yet, what with it being rainy and 55 yesterday.

My student hourly was marveling at the weather in mid-May and I had to go all old codger on them. Back in my day, they canceled the last day of school field day because of snow. Two years in a row. Nothing like planning to go to school in your shorts and flip flops at the end of May and waking up to a foot of snow. Kansas always has a few tricks up her sleeve.

Luckily, devil dog and fat cat seemed to be in fine health. One of the big changes in our lives is Biggie’s training collar. I spent way too long thinking of electronic collars as “mean,” because I grew up among hunting dogs, and back in the 70s, collars for hunting dogs were not in any way, shape, or form, humane. The new ones are much better, and so my new dog trainer convinced me to try it. It has been amazing.

Dog remote control

Dog remote control

She still has the occasional meltdown about things. And never anything you can completely predict. Of course, she always hates male joggers, bicycles and skateboards, and white dogs, but she also at random hates old ladies, baby strollers, female joggers, orange cats, trash carts, people carrying cases of beer, and a hundred other things you don’t know she’s going to freak out about until it happens. The nice thing is that she always broadcasts her intent to freak out, and now I can give her a simple vibrating page to let her know that she should not. Now, she frequently obeys this reminder, but not always, and at that point, I do have to deploy the zapper, but honestly, it’s less traumatic for both of us than a pinch chain or a full-on freak out.

You’ll notice that there are two collars, and yes, one is for the pretty pretty princess. She only wears hers at dog park, though, where she is prone to running off and harassing other dogs. The collar works to effectively recall her and tell her “no” more firmly when she won’t leave a dog alone. Proof that she is the proverbial princess and the pea? Biggie’s “zap” function is set on 45. Anything less than that is not persuasive to her when she is in meltdown mode. Josey’s is set on 5. And she jumps like she’s being straight up electrocuted when it goes off.

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In other news, I’m languishing waiting for my editorial letter for the real book, so I’m filling time with writing the next smut book. Let me sum it up in four words: Uncle Sam Were-Eagle Sex. I’ll let you know when that baby goes to press.

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Playing nicely

This is a picture of the current favorite dog toy and the favorite cat toy in my house. 


Dragon is stuffed and floppy and has a grunter (rather than a squeaker.) Xmas Xmouse is red sparkly fabric filled with some catnip and has a glittery silver tail that ends in a jingle bell. 

The reason this is of interest (to me anyway) is that the dogs play with both of these toys. They play tuggy with Dragon and drag him around. They gnaw on him and shake him vigorously. He’s pretty well worn, as you can see. 

Xmas Xmouse, however, is an object of fascination and reverence to the dogs. Biggie carries him around the house, gingerly clasped her enormous maw, so as not to damage him. Josey will bat him around the kitchen, gently tapping him with her paw or nudging with her nose. He jingles so enticingly, but she never gives into the urge galumph or pounce on him. 

I find it so adorable that they both want to play with Xmas Xmouse, because he is Cat Toy! But they’re so gentle and careful, like they sense that rough play will ruin him. I sometimes wonder if they’re mimicking how the cats play or if they’re trying to invite the cats to play.  

Posted in Dawgs, Nekkid Kittehs!!!! | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Welp, didn’t get that unfucked

I had hoped that today’s post would be an Unfuck Your Habitat, but then I didn’t get it unfucked. Ugh. I was sick for two weeks, and had the misfortune of getting sick right in the middle of a project. So my house is not just sick messy, it’s sick interrupted project messy. Like this.

Like a dumpster vomited in my living room

Like a dumpster vomited in my living room

And some of this.

How long since I mopped the floor?

How long since I mopped the floor?

And a little of this:

Mmmm, pile of sweaty project clothes and dog towels.

Mmmm, pile of sweaty project clothes and dog towels.

And then to add insult to injury, the fabulous new iced tea maker that I love so much:

So lovely!

So lovely!

It has a serious flaw. If you forget to put the carafe lid on, the machine doesn’t brew into the pitcher. It just brews and overflows all over your kitchen. The counters, the floors, the junk drawer. Yeah, I could have done without learning that lesson the hard way.

Design flaw: floods your kitchen drawers.

Design flaw: floods your kitchen drawers.

But that is one thing I unfucked:

Sometimes you have to make a mess to clean a mess.

Sometimes you have to make a mess to clean a mess.

And then, the dogs discovered Easter egg hunts. On two separate walks, they’ve located eggs that were too well hidden for the original intended recipients to find, but my keen sniffer dogs located two eggs with candy. Obviously, I had to eat the candy and trade the dogs dog treats for it. You can see that Josey has a sharp eye for what’s fair.

Dat is two pieces of candy, Mama.

Dat is two pieces of candy, Mama.

And I did something that will surely drive me crazy: I bought a step tracker thingy. Four days in, I’m already allowing it to goad me into walking more. It has not yet talked me out of Easter candy.



Posted in Puckett House, Random Redscylla | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Retro Recycle

So I buy my dog poop bags in bulk now. Because two 60-lb. dogs produce a lot of poop and we do a lot of walking. I got tired of seeing this though:

It’s one thing to buy a giant box of poop bags and another to have to see that box front and center in your living room. Then I had this idea:

After all, nobody wanted those giant floppy disc storage boxes at work. 

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The end of an era

At last, all the stars aligned. My bed frame, which was a birthday gift from my mom, has been sitting in boxes in my dining room since August. It was waiting on me to finish my headboard, which started life as old door. Then the headboard was done, and it was waiting on me being able to afford a new mattress, and then once I got my advance check, it was waiting on me to get my shit together. Welp, shit has been gathered!

Dogs and I will have to readapt to sleeping on a regular bed after all this time being dirty hippies. 

Posted in Random Redscylla | 12 Comments

For Larui on her birthday

I hope it’s a good one!

weirdmasteCuz the best part about the internet–finding weird friends!

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Welcome to my experiment

Two years ago, my eyesight started shifting in ways that made it hard to work on the computer. That or my eyes were just sick and tired of the strain of computer work. I got my prescription adjusted, then got it adjusted again. Then I got into an argument with my eye doctor and didn’t go back for almost a year. I figured, if she wasn’t actively trying to help me fix the problem, there was no reason to dole out for co-pays.



I mean, I knew I couldn’t stay away forever, so with my annual exam a year overdue, I finally made an appointment. I sat through all the exam parts, the blinding, the puffing, the poking, the dilating, the violating. Then, when she started making her notes, I said, “What’s your goal when you write my prescription?”

“To correct it to as close to perfect as we can,” she said, like a little robot. Smiley face! Praise Jesus! (She is very smiley and Jesus-y, which to be honest sets my teeth on edge, though I wish it didn’t.)

“So 20/20? Even though, in fact, I don’t need 20/20 vision?”

She started in on something about best outcomes and something-something, and I finally just cut her off. Bottom line: what do I need 20/20 vision for? I spend all day, five days a week, plus extra hours at home, after work, and on the weekends, working on a computer. A computer that is 3 feet away from my face. Not 20 feet. 3 feet. I also spend a great deal of time looking at my stupid smart phone, less than 2 feet from my face. Often the strain of focusing on these two glowing screens makes my eyes tired.

“Well, that’s why I keep suggesting you get some reading glasses to wear while you work on the computer or read. To adjust your vision for closer work,” she said. It’s true, she’s been nagging at me to do that for years, but I haven’t. Why? Because it’s fucking stupid. I spend the majority of my waking hours needing to have the vision for close work. Why the fuck is the default setting to overcorrect my vision and then tell me to wear glasses WITH my contact lenses for the majority of my work day? Especially as I wear contacts so I don’t have to wear glasses.

I finally spelled it out to her in those terms. I said, “I drive less than 10 minutes a week, and that is the only time that 20/20 vision is of real benefit to me. On the other hand, I need close vision for 50+ hours a week, but you continue to prioritize that 10 minutes over the 50+ hours. In what world does that make sense?”

After a little uncomfortable silence, she said, “Well, if you’re willing to experiment, we can adjust the prescription to retain more of your near vision.”

So after 30+ years of having my vision corrected to 20/20, I am changing tactics. She reduced my prescription, so that my vision is only corrected to 20/40. So far, it’s been a little weird. Driving home from my appointment, I couldn’t read street signs well, and walking across campus, I didn’t recognize someone who was waving at me until I was right up on them.

On the other hand, looking at the computer all afternoon, I can tell that it requires less effort for me to focus on the screen. I’ve been horribly near-sighted for most of my life. I got my first glasses at age 8, about 4 years later than when I actually needed them. I’ve worn contacts since I was 12. It’s weird to be “taking a step back,” to have my eyesight less corrected than is considered optimal, but it makes sense. Correct my vision for what I need, not for some random ideal.

I’ll let you know how it goes.



Posted in Random Redscylla, Work is work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments