Pet Responsibility

Photo by Adam Greig

I have three animals that live with me. Two cats and one dog. My animals are part of the family, and when they came into the family, it was with the understanding that we would care for them for the rest of their lives.

I take my animal care seriously…I make sure that they have their annual checkups, get their shots, get regular flea/tick medicine, and take any medicine prescribed. My cats stay inside, always, so that they are not a menace to wildlife. When we walk the dog, we always carry bags to pick up after him.

I was driving to work the other day and saw a woman out with a beautiful Sheltie. The woman was busy on her phone as her dog did its business. Then she just walked away, leaving the crap behind her.

I get that it’s not fun to pick up after a dog. It smells and it’s quite disgusting.

But I also understand that picking up after my animals is part of the package. You want the dog, you don’t leave its droppings where others can step in it. It doesn’t matter whether it is in your front yard, your neighbor’s yard or in a public space.

So if you have a pet, please clean up after it. Or reconsider whether or not you really want that pet.

Photo by Adam Greig


The New Computer

Photo by AUMOER

My daughter recently received a new computer. She’s been using an old desktop for a few years, and it was time to upgrade her to the machine she will use through college.

In our house, I’m generally the one who gets the upgrades, and then the machines get shuffled. Since I am a developer, I have certain specs about what I need to have – and they are typically not served by your average computer.

My daughter got to learn this as we debated the various configurations. In the end, she ended up with maxed out memory, a big hard drive, and a decent video card.

She’s very excited about this.

And so the great computer shuffle starts.

My husband has a desktop he purchased while he was in DC that is terrible. No memory, no good guts, no hard drive space. It’s slower than molasses in a Green Bay January.

So the question is, does he get his old desktop back (which my daughter was using)? Or does he get my old laptop?

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

Photo by AUMOER

A New Driver

Photo by Spanish Coches

My daughter is now driving on her own. After 9 months of supervised driving, she is able to move about the city in her own car.

This has proven to be a relief. Taking her the various places (music lessons, shopping) took up a good bit of time. She is now able to drive herself to her various music lessons without having to take one of her parents.

It is also cutting her day a lot shorter. Since she spends her school afternoons in a different city, relying on the bus got her home at 5:15 every day. Driving means she gets home at 4:30.

Many of my friends and co-workers have asked if I’m worried. Not really. She is a cautious driver, and she is responsible. She won’t do anything stupid.

So we are celebrating this milestone in her life, and letting her enjoy some more freedom!

Photo by Spanish Coches

The New Car

Photo by chumlee10I recently purchased a new car.

I don’t get cars that often – in my entire adult life I have had three up until now. And the second one was given up with only 80,000 miles after I no longer trusted the electrical system.

I’ve had my Prius for 11 years. It’s a good car, and I enjoyed driving it. But my daughter needs a car, and buying one for me while she takes the old Prius seemed like the good answer.

I enjoyed the Prius so much that I didn’t even consider another type of car when it came time to look. I researched my options and went into the dealership knowing exactly what I wanted. I got it, too, down to the detail.

The new car has been interesting to get used to. It’s got many more features than I am used to, and it definitely has more pep than the last one. But I am definitely enjoying it.

Photo by chumlee10


Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and VideoI did something during Hurricane Florence that I’ve never done before: I evacuated.

The Tuesday before the storm hit we were being told it would be a Category 5 that would broadside the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Too close to home.

So my husband and I made the decision to evacuate. As he said, “We can’t change what will happen to the house. We can choose to not be in the house when it happens.”

My daughter was off school, and I knew that given the opening of three schools as shelters that the schools wouldn’t reopen that week. So we packed up our stuff, hooked up the camper and drove north. Specifically, up to northern Pennsylvania where his family lives. We took the camper because we evacuated our pets, and no one was able to take us with the two cats.

So we waited, and watched. Thankfully the storm weakened. Thankfully for us the storm turned south. And we decided to return home for the non-event.

We spent four days up there, returning home with a 13 hour journey that avoided the clogged interstates. And even though it turned out to be a non-event for southern Virginia, I’m glad we left.

I’m glad that it turned out to be nothing in my area. My heart breaks for those who are still dealing with the aftermath.

If you have the ability, I urge you to take part in the relief efforts. It’s a big mess, and cleanup will take months.

Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Writer’s Block?

Photo by SembazuruI do a lot of writing. I run three blogs. I do newsletters, articles, updates, livestreams and conference calls that are partially scripted.

But sometimes I struggle for what to say.

In my professional blog, I have themes, and a bank of ideas that I can draw from.

Not so much on this blog.

And so often I find myself staring at a blank page.

It’s not writer’s block. It’s simply that I don’t know what to talk about.

Perhaps I need to start a list of topics for here, so I can get some ideas when I need them. It’s worth thinking about.

Photo by Sembazuru

Do What You Can

Photo by brenkeeeI recently did something stupid and ended up with a bruised rib. It’s limited what I can do – the doctor said no picking things up, no lifting my arm above my head, no sleeping on that side.

My trainer has refused to let me work in the gym on the basis that he didn’t want to exacerbate the injury. And he was right. But I had been doing so well with going to the gym, even on days when I didn’t meet up with him, and now I was stuck.

So I moped for a few days. And then I remembered the words of Edward Everett Hale:

“I am only one; but still I am one.
I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

Time to lace on the sneakers and go for a long walk.

Photo by brenkeee