Poop-gate

Luke has aroutine. A routine that he attempted to get me used too for the last five years. The hallmark of this routine is the morning walk.  A long one is nice, but a minimal walk around the block is required.  The potty run which is the shortest of walks is only done when his human isn’t feeling well.

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Our standard walk takes us down the street up one block and past a lawyer’s office.  This is Luke’s favorite place to relieve himself. It isn’t a statement on his feeling on the legal profession. They have the best bushes.  Luke loves pooping in bushes. They have big ones, little ones and fat ones.  It is doggy heaven. Most of the time, he just sticks his head in the bush practicing if I can’t see you, you can’t see me philosophy of most politicians.

This morning was no exception.  As many dog owners know, you quickly become intimately familiar with the quality and quantity of dog’s excrement, their favorite places to go and frequently at which they need to go.  Today was a two-poop morning.  He went first right by the apartments at the end of the street.  This is his second favorite spot.  I did my duty and picked it up.  Luke has no opinion on this practice. Everyone is into different things.  Some people like cats after all. (Luke by the way loves cats and wishes we had more.)

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Mom, this kitten is trying to eat me.  

He did have an opinion on me walking back towards the house. Our walk was not done. I however was trying to deposit the refuse bag in the dumpster so I did not have walk with around the entire block with it.  I hate doing that even more than I hate picking up warm gooey poop.   Once we cleared up this misunderstanding, we proceed.

It was a beautiful morning. Not too hot, not too sticky. The sun wasn’t shining directly in my eyes.  No random dogs or people came up to us.

Time for the second poop, which was not so much a solid as a semi-liquid demonstrating that someone had been eating kitten food again. It was in a bush, I was out of bags and there was no real way to contain it so I was prepared to move on. Then a woman in an eggshell colored SUV, stopped, rolled her window down and declared that she hoped that I was going to pick it up.

I waved the empty bag holder and explained in an equally passive aggressive tone that I was fresh out.  She mutters back and me and mutter shouted at her.  I blame my behavior on a lack of coffee and three and a half hours of sleep.

This marks the second time that someone has told me to pick up Luke’s leavings.  The first time like this time, it was a two poop walk and what he left was not solid. The first time, I went back to the person’s house and picked it up.  No, that’s not true, I drove there with Luke to take care of the problem. The first time is why I have one of those poop bag containers attached to the leash.  My immediate reaction to this incident was to be cranky. I wanted to rush on to Facebook and complain about her rudeness.

Then I decided to write about it.

Not to shame the woman, she was passive aggressive and I am sure that she was unhappy about being at work 20 minutes before everyone else this morning. We all have our issues.   But to thank her.

Thank you, Passive-Aggressive Eggshell lady for reminding me that I am member of a pretty awesome community and that means that I have to take care of my responsibilities and duties to the community.  Picking up poop is just one of those duties.  Taking in my trash cans and maintaining a safe vehicle are others.  Along with being an informed voter and paying taxes.  And there isn’t always a good way to address someone when they are violating community standards or norms.  Often when you do, you are made out to be the villain.  I don’t think you are a villain.  Everyone needs some level of accountability to the community.  Thank you for reminding me of mine.  Seriously, thank you.

Returning to the topic of poop, have you called your Congressman lately.  Here’s a link to help you.  All you have to do is type in your address and violia, you have a handly list of your representatives.

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The Day with Verbs

Up with the throbbing  head again

No wine to blame

stumbled out the door

into the world

locking myself out

meandered my way back in

set to work

putting things here and there

walked the dog

recycling to the bin

errands ran

dishes to the sink

clothes to the hamper

litter to the bin

walked the dog again

finished the dishes

three pills

then off to bed

little moments building a day

a life

A New Year’s Message

How you begin this year should not indicate how the rest of it is going to go.  A few bad days doesn’t mean that the whole year is going to suck.

Please remember that as you move through these first couple of weeks of 2016.  It is a new year, but the only magical thing that happens at midnight on December 31st every year is an agreed change in our perceptions.

Universally,  the decision was made that when the clock strikes midnight everyone gets a chance to start over.   Articles are published about New Year’s Resolutions, people share their hopes and dreams,  and we all move forward as if something momentous has changed for all of us.

The problem is that we wake up the same people that we were when we went to bed. We have accepted the narrative that while New Year’s is a great time to make changes while also accepting  no one is really going to hold you to those resolutions.

Sometime in February the articles on why we didn’t succeed in our resolutions and we will feel better about letting ourselves down.

We have gotten use to disappointing ourselves and looking to others for inspiration.  We tell ourselves that if  others can do it we can do it and then we beat ourselves up for not doing it.

My 2016 has been a little rough. Yep, three days in and things are a little bumpy.

Sick Lu

Sick again?

My first day of 2016 found me in bed after being sent home from my mother’s house for being sick. My family looked at me, declared that I was deathly pale and sent me packing. Not the best way to begin the year, but it is how I began my year.

On the second day of 2016, I tried to dye my hair purple and ended up dying the bathtub and my finger nails. Don’t ask me how, just know that I really did this things.

And today, the third day of 2016, I am cleaning the house with a headache and trying to write a new blog.  True, I am sick. True I still have the bills that I didn’t pay staring at me and a house that really needs to me to attend to it. Oh, and I forgot to pay a traffic fine in 2016.

Sweet Potatoes from my garden. I grew a thing.

Sweet Potatoes from my garden. I grew a thing.

However, it is also true that yesterday, I baked two sweet potatoes that came right out of my garden, that last night I was able to spend time with a dear friend on her birthday and that there is still a pretty comfortable roof, albeit a messy one, over my head. I have gotten myself up every day even when not feeling well and gone for a walk, done some stretches and done some writing.

The good is mixed in with the not so good.  Oh and there is a nice pot of chili on the stove.

I think it is important to note not how you begin a thing, but how you finished it and all the little steps in between.  And it can’t hurt to listen to the wise words of Julie Garland. Have a great 2016. Make it a great one.

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Writing Exercise – I am Poem #1

Every nine weeks, my students write a new I-Am poem to help build  their writing portfolio and so they can see how they changed over the course of the year.  It is interesting to read them because often times even though they know that their poems will be read by me they confess little truths about themselves.  The format is simple and can be altered easily to let them express themselves more freely.  Tonight, I decided to write my own to get my creative thoughts flowing. 

I am tired and burnt out

I wonder if I will ever cease being living in a state of permanent exhaustion

I hear the not so quiet sounds of students working

I see myself getting older and wondering where all the time went

I want to do so much more than I am

I am constantly working to find a way out

I pretend that I have it handle, but I’ve never really been good at this game

I believe there has to be a way, a better way than the one I am living

I touch the brace on my leg and count the days until it is off

I feel the pain between my shoulder blades taunting me

I worry that there will never be another book and the thing my body has become will be permanent

I cry too often

I understand the cycle and know that tomorrow or tonight I will find my fight again.

I am myself and this is only temporary

Starting and Stopping

For the last year, I have been starting to get better: better at writing daily, at exercising, and at this game called life. And then I stopped. I would love to rationalize my behavior, but I am closing in on my fortieth year of life and frankly, I’m tired. Tired of being too scared to make the changes in my life that I need and want to make. Tired of not being happy at the end of the day. Tired of feeling like I am letting the people I love down.

Today, I am adding being in pain to the list of things I am done with. Yesterday, I received an answer to why my foot and ankle have been hurting for the last couple of months. I have a bit of bone under the arch of my foot, as well as a bone spur on the heel of the same foot. On Monday I see the podiatrist and, hopefully, work out a plan that will let me get back to exercising and feeling better physically and mentally. It is hard to work out when you hurt whenever you move.

It seems like every time I get going in one direction something happens to stop my forward momentum. After 39 years of this happening repeatedly, the reason became clear. Like most people, I am my own worst enemy.

I am the one who hasn’t spent enough time writing, exercising, or choosing joy. I made those choices and now I am burnt out, constantly exhausted, and out of options. I get up and go through my day looking for magical escape hatches that don’t exist.

Do I have a plan to change? Yes.

Will it work? I don’t know.

Part of my plan to write more is to enlist some help in editing and promoting my work. Thanks to a good friend and talented editor, Cat B. of Catalyst Editing and Consulting, for agreeing to work with me. She is going to help with this blog, and also with upcoming projects. The second part of the writing plan is for me to get off my bum and just write. No more excuses, just writing.

As for the rest of my life, I have a lot of shredding to do so I can start living my own joy. Life is too short to do otherwise.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

 

 

 

Eight things

Months ago, I was tagged to write one of those things you didn’t know about me posts.  I delayed, procrastinated and then finally decided to turn it into a blog. And then I delayed, procrastinated and repeated until today.

Sorry, Lisa A. that it took me so long to do this.

And thank you for giving me something to help work my way out of my current writing funk.

1) Wishlist Obsessed ~ When I want to shop and can’t, I make wishlists on Amazon and now Modcloth. It distracts that party of my brain that keeps attempting to destroy my budget.  Sometimes it back fires when friends find these lists and obtain for me the item desired in a moment of on-line passion which seemed like a good idea at the time.  Luckily it has only produced one embarrassing Yuletide moment when I didn’t know what the item was.

2) Gardening Reduces My Stress ~ Taking care plants or playing in the dirt has always been soothing for me.  I like having dirt under my nails and grass between my toes.garden4

3) Complaining LessI am working on complaining less and being grateful for all the things I have in my life.  This isn’t so much of a goal as it a life philosophy. And you know what I am really happier than I was a year ago. My depression is still with me, but it has less power.

4) Dancing ~ I love to dance, but going to clubs for me is scary so I haven’t been out to one in a long time.  My anxiety makes it difficult for me to go out as much as I would like especially if I think people will be looking at me.  I still dance nearly everyday, just not when people are looking. This also makes attending dance class tricky.

5) Reading ~ I re-read the Anita Blake series from start to finish at least once a year. Twice if I a new book comes out.  Currently, I am re-reading Skin Trade before I read Dead Ice. There are books in every room of my house and a special shelf for my signed books. DSC_1640

6) Skulls ~ I have a collection of skulls which my mother started when I was a teenager.  I still have that skull pendant that she and Poppa gave me. At one point, we all had one. Now I think I am the only one who managed to keep hold of it over the the years. Being a pack rat helps. There are probably thirty or more skulls in the collection. They also remind me that life is precious and fragile. DSC_1643

7) Year-round Halloween ~ If you come in my house, you will notice right away that something a bit spooky is going on. This has lead some people to speculate that I never put my Halloween decorations away. This isn’t true. There are five boxes in storage that prove otherwise.

8) Minister ~ I have been an ordained minister for the last sixteen years.  It all started in college when some friends asked me to marry them. Since then I have officiated at over a dozen weddings, funerals and naming ceremonies. It has been one of the greatest blessings of my life to watch couples begin their lives together and to stand with families as they say goodbye to their love ones.

 

Page A Day Results

There were thirty days in April and I wrote and published something on this blog for twenty-six of them.  It is amazing what a writer or any human being can do when they challenge themselves and make a commitment. But then again, that is the story that we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves what we can and can not do. We place limits on ourselves and those we love.

If I give my students an open ended writing assignment, they automatically give themselves rules and limits.  The biggest one these days is that this or that is too much. It is the limit that I hate the most. If it gets the job done and puts you were you need to go then why is it too much? Why is it bad to work for something? The answer for many of the students is easy to see in their daily lives. They see people working and working and never getting a head, so why work?

That is a dangerous story, but a real one.

11051906_663114840460500_2886341314953390785_nThe big bad story I have told myself I don’t have enough time to write. This month, I took that story apart.

I didn’t make my goal of writing everyday, but most days I did write and it is that habit that I have to continue if I want to be a successful writer. No if ands or buts about it, to be a writer you have to write. To be a successful one you have to continue to write, even when I’m busy or sick.  (Yesterday, I slept most of the day and wrote for a couple of hours in the office before going back to bed.)

I have been afraid to let go of some aspects of my life. The security that I have built for myself in my tiny house. In the three jobs that I hold down and the family and loved ones who support me. In the piles of books that surround me in nearly every room of my house.  In short, I have been afraid of change.

Change is always coming for us.  Always, so it is time to stop huddling under the covers and get going.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

 

Blinded

blinded by smoke

scored by the heat

nothing but the most bitter fruit

left to eat

nothing left but to fight

to fight

to die

and maybe then be heard

or be seen on CNN

and misunderstood

still better than

do nothin’

being the big man’s punk

and doing my time

in the oligarch’s machine

better to go out

with a stone in my hand

than dying in an attempt to live

the promised life

 

A New Day Another Page (April Page 19)

It seems like today is going to be a two page day since yesterday’s page was published today by accident, sorry. A page a day and no excuses. Next month, I plan to continue this exercise until it becomes a habit and that habit become the next book.

One thing I also need to do is organize my home office aka the dinning room so it works better as an office, not just a dumping ground. So a new book case and maybe a new vacuum if the old one can’t be fixed. My office needs to be a place where I can work and if I can’t work there then I will go to a bookstore or a park.

There will be lists of chores, a bad days, colds and family events and everyday I will need to sit down and write. Everyday I will sit down and write. It is the only way, I can be a better writer and a successful writer. I need to write and I will write.

This week is the last of a series of hard weeks where my weekends disappeared in the blink of an eye. Math class on Saturday, second job on Sunday and back to work on Monday. Monday’s and Wednesday’s are my long days so I write and write in between my classes.

A friend reminded me over and over that I did it. I am a published author and that is an amazing thing. I put my energy into writing the next book and the one after that and the one after that.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.