Hearts, Hay, Horses, and Headaches

The letter for today is apparently H. I shall start with hearts, since it’s a cheerful topic and something to be proud of. After finishing the camo blanket, I went back to work on my heart afghan I was making for Kathleen. Today I finished the heart section.

heart afghan
It’ darned cheerful!

It’s way too small to be useful to keep one warm, so I am already a third of the way through with making a border of squares to go around the hearts. I have ten colors of yarn for the centers and need 30 squares. That’s pretty dang good how it worked out!

squares
Pattern from that book I got on crochet quilt blocks.

After that, I’m gonna do something else as another border, probably also from that book. I have a lot of yarn. Well, except for the cream. I may need another skein of that one. All the other colors I haven’t even finished the first skein on!

Hay

I decided that since hay had gotten so expensive due to the drought, I should “harvest” what was left when the front pasture was shredded. There was some long and very nice coastal Bermuda out there that got mowed.

That’s a good amount of hay!

It was fun to pick it up. I feel ranchy!

Horses

Sometimes the horses mystify me. Both Fiona and Drew had smears of blood on them this evening.

Just a schmear.

No horse had a cut. Maybe Apache had another nosebleed? His nose looked fine, though. A mystery.

I’m still thrilled Mabel looks so much better.

Mostly they make me smile. They see me coming and pick those heads up to see if perhaps there’s food.

We see you. Is it dinner time?

When it’s been a hard day, watching their antics and rubbing those soft necks can make everything better. Which I needed.

Drew’s relaxed enough to drop and roll around with me right in front of him. Probably trying to wipe off the blood.

Headaches

Have you ever had a day where you start off sorta irritated and then actually irritating things start happening? That was me at work today. Sometimes I wonder how people get hired. Or how they keep their jobs if they don’t understand what their job entails. It’s like signing up to be a carpenter but you insist on hammering the pointy sides of nails. That’s not how nails work!

But I’m way better at shutting up these days. I didn’t write the software I support nor their job descriptions. I’ll just do my job and let their bosses notice the quality of their work.

Still. I got a headache.

Occasionally this helps.

Plus I missed a meeting this evening. My calendaring skills are something my boss should have a chat with me about.

Healing and Grace

It’s been almost a year since I grabbed the opportunity to leave a job where it had become increasingly obvious I wasn’t wanted. The new offer was so perfect I had to accept. It’s been a great year

I mooooved on

Today I attended the yearly conference put on by my old employer. It was my first time as a customer. Customers are way more welcome than technical writer managers, so that was good. Other than accidentally starting to attend a session by one of the people who uh, um, wasn’t a fan of me, it was interesting and I learned a lot, especially from other customers.

I just breathed and thought of the beautiful sunrise. Tuesday is sunrise day, because of the 7 am meeting.

The healing came as the day went on. I’ve heard from very few people who still work at that company, which are fewer by the day. And I have not asked the ones I hear from what’s going on there; I just keep up with the products. So, I was touched that some people reached out to me today. That felt so nice, especially since people I’d asked for help before I left had not even said goodbye. Well, only one person did.

It’s okay.

But to hear kind things and learn how some folks were doing felt healing. There’d been no closure after ten years there. The good wishes helped. Right now, with my focus on keeping just what’s good in life, I’m feeling a sense of grace.

Transformation time.

Well it’s either grace or a fever from getting both the new COVID booster and a flu shot today. No horse riding today. Sore arms.

I wish you healing and the ability to move on.

I Went to Work and Found Rainbows

Spoiler: the rainbow was not at work. But it’s true, I’ve been in my current job 11 months and had never been to “the office” until today. Well, I’d been to the first floor of the building many times, because I’d worked there on three separate instructional design gigs from 2006-2009.

Early departure!

I had a dentist appointment in Cedar Park (same dentist I’ve had for 20 years) this morning and really didn’t want to miss 4 hours of work to do it. Why work at a coffeehouse when Dell has an entire campus full of desks and wifi, and I have a badge to get in? So after my great dental cleaning (I glossed sufficiently) I went to find where the department I’m in has its seats.

A seat.

It was hard to find the cute little place assigned to the department I’m attached to. The stairs to it are unmarked! Luckily a guy I asked happened to have found the place last week, so he showed me, and reminded me where the cafeteria and the coffee shop where Lee and I fell in love were. No coffee anymore, but there is still a little food at the cafeteria.

A ping pong table!

Whoever designed this area took lessons from whoever did the Planview interior, but this is somehow soothing with all the white and light blue. It might be a nice place to work if more people were there. Today there was one other dude. It was quiet!

It’s sorta pretty for a space where no one has their own desk.

Yes, I had to reserve a “workspace.” I felt so modern and efficient. This is something that would take time to get used to, since I make a nest out of my work area. But, that’s not my worry! I’ll probably only come back a few more times before this job expires! Working from home is great, but this was a nice break.

The chatting area. Very near the sanitizing station.

I headed home with a stop by Tractor Supply for horse and chicken food. It’s always a little shocking to see all the changes along my route now that I do t drive back and forth every week. There are new traffic lights, a new gas station, and houses going up. I’ll be back next week, so it won’t change too much.

Welcome back, clacked the storks

The weather is so weird this time of year. Halfway home I hit an intense rainstorm with hail and flash flooding. I’m glad my car has a rain mode. It was clear at the Hermits’ Rest when I got home, so I was able to feed the horses. The second I was done, rain started.

It was dry in there ten minutes earlier!

It stopped pretty quickly, so I was able to feed the chickens. I saw the sun come out, and there was the bookend to my day!

Hooray!

It was a good day, even with all the driving. Time to relax. I hope your day had some nice surprises!

Hi There

Not much is going on other than the dizzy thing and working hard. Work is good, of course. I could do without queasy and dizzy.

This will make it all better.

The liquor is a prop, as is the hat. We were celebrating a coworker’s birthday today, so we wore party hats, made signs, and brought celebratory beverages to our 8:30 am meeting. Party on Zoom! It made Lenna cry. That’s a good way to start sprint planning (if you don’t know what that is, consider yourself lucky).

Why didn’t you invite ME? Well, Apache, you don’t like hats.

Declan put a set of blinds that didn’t fit on another project in the tack room. This is the only one that worked, but it’s okay, because that’s the one that gets lots of morning sun and heats things up.

Ok. Later I will hang up the little art I’ve had since I lived in my first house in Illinois.

And since I was too woozy to exercise, I did a fun thing at lunch. Kathleen gave me one of those kid sun-catcher crafts to cheer me up. It was a paint horse, and I made it look like Apache. It’s got his mane and tail plus a white nose. I had fun, and it’s cheerful in a window.

And one more thing, I found yet another mushroom variety today. The puffballs are back! And yesterday’s ink caps are already fading. Maybe my mold issue will, too.

The look like golf balls grow!

Granny Squares

I heard it was recently International Granny Square Day. So glad I was working on some at the time. I have two rows done on the current project, which consists mostly of granny squares divided diagonally into two halves.

Goldie had to help.

It ends up looking like a quilt. I shared the yarn one day last week. To start, I colored in the pattern with markers. Of course I changed some.

My really messy doodles

I’m stopping here until the yarn for the heart arrives. I do have the other camo yarn I can turn into balls and swatch with. Sigh. The ball winder and swift are still packed up, somewhere. But I can wind by hand and it will count as exercise!

Time for wine by the pool

Speaking of which, it was literally like an OVEN outside today. Neither I nor the horses were up to running around. It was 102° and extra humid. So I got my exercise in the pool. I swim weird but it counts!

I didn’t have to save Suna.

The good news is real rain should be coming tomorrow or Friday. I will believe it when I see it, but it’s the most hope since early May. I think we need it, judging from the ground.

Sorry I’m so dull right now. All the interesting stuff I can’t write about. Oh, here’s a tidbit: I’m officially renewed and get to stay at Dell another year. Income! Yay!

You’d pet me more if you retired.

On the Road to Comfy

Two of our many projects are moving quickly toward a better state. The in-law suite, which will actually be occupied by my elderly and a bit unsteady brother-in-law, is rapidly approaching a livable and comfy state.

Simple and clean

The room that was our first office/bedroom for Lee, which is in the back of our garage, is looking great, especially when I don’t show the other side of the room, where there’s still papers, books, amps and such that are Lee’s. I’m looking to see if any more of my stuff got put there. All the horse stuff is in the tack room, though.

In progress

The room now has a doorway to get to the bathroom and new kitchen area. Everything has been painted, new light fixtures are in, and the fridge is in place (and cleaned off from where the chickens used to roost on it). That was a lot of work.

Nice fridge!

The recycled granite is ready for cabinets that will hold the sink, microwave, etc.

I didn’t know we had a granite saw. Maybe that was already there.

The nephew went to get cabinets today. They need to go in, and I assume some flooring. Then it will be livable, even though the outside wall still needs insulation, which will happen when the pool house gets its insulation blown in.

We already had this bathroom with a handicap-friendly shower. It’s getting a bench.

I’m very pleased at how nice this looks. Speaking of nice! They put a desk in the tack room, which looks very nice with my temporary chairs. I’m hoping to get my furniture in there soon, now that it’s pretty clean.

Sure, the chandelier look better than the fly trap, but this is good.

I tried to clean all the lids to the horse food, but one I can’t get the oily stuff off. I’ll get a more intense cleaner, I guess. I’ll get there. And it wasn’t even too hot today!

I practiced this game today. That proves it wasn’t too hot.

Now to sit by myself again. I’d feel lonely around here, but I was so surrounded by people in my 9 meetings today that I’m actually okay that everyone has other stuff to do!

Me at work. I dressed nice to get me through things. Like my sparkly tooth?

Just Breathe. It Works.

Today could have been kind of frustrating if I were hell-bent on getting what I wanted to do done. But I took the attitude that I’d just do what I could and be satisfied.

My “office”

I had to check out at 10 am, which left me fancy free until a 6 pm flight. I was fine with that, and headed over to the “business” area of the condo place, where I’d never been. It’s also where the kid area and very fancy gym were.

Kid area

That would have been fine, except it was not great for internet connections. My personal hotspot was lukewarm at best, making my Friday friend chat iffy, and my work quite un-fun. I did get a lot done until some employee decided to teach one of the many local homeless people how to check email. ThT was kind of him, but loud.

I decided to go ahead and try my luck at the airport. Of course there was no shuttle, and when the taxi arrived, neither the bellmen nor the taxi driver wanted to open the door for me and my heavy bags and my turtles. Finally, the cab guy shoved my things in. When I went to get my knitting bag to sit with me, I slammed my knee into some hard object under the scuzzy seat cover, getting a bruise and a rip in my favorite non-ripped jeans.

Everyone on Facebook has informed me that ripped jeans are fashionable again. I never knew they weren’t. And I own some.

But, I took a deep breath and enjoyed the ride to the pretty airport. Since I was so early I enjoyed a really tasty veggie quesadilla at the Nacho Hippo restaurant. Honestly yummy and full of roasted things I like.

I then found a nice table with the right plugs, and tried to do some work to help a colleague. The internet continued to frustrate by going in and out and the software I was documenting was most snail-esque. I breathed a lot and only muttered a few curses.

When I couldn’t upload or find the URL for the PDF I’d tried to upload, it occurred to me that I’d already worked 6 hours and things would work way better at home tomorrow. I gave up and set to knitting and people watching. The border on my blanket is looking lovely. It’s simple but effective.

Nice gradient

The people watching showed me I have completely missed out on a fashion trend. It’s some kind of jumpsuit or romper or something. It is skin-tight, like what a DC superhero would have worn in my prime comic-reading years.

Some are skin-tone, ranging from beige to dark brown. Others have wild patterns in them. All show, um, everything about the wearer, including raised scars, cellulite, etc. I find it incredibly unpleasant yet I keep looking at them.

She volunteered to wear this in an ad so I feel ok sharing. I didn’t take pictures of people in the airport.

Kudos to the folks who embrace the look at all sizes. I did note it was mostly popular with those who appeared to be under 30, and is often accessorized with Crocs. It makes my frayed jeans seem tame and old.

I was glad to get on the plane where I could see how my new phone camera does looking out plane windows. I got views of water and Charlotte, NC.

There were more of those outfits in that airport, along with the tannest and fittest whites woman I ever saw. I think she might have been a professional body builder. Still, I’d have preferred to not see every detail of her in her tights and cropped top. I’m getting old, folks.

Plane is leaving. I’ll upload and say bye to the eastern US. And breathe for a while.

Work Is Worky

I like my job a lot. I’m really lucky to be doing what I enjoy for great folks. But whew, sometimes I need to take a break. My eyes are throbbing from looking at my tiny laptop screen and trying to write software instructions for hours and hours.

Necessary beverage

I finally stopped writing at 5:45 and had a sandwich and large beverage at the sports bar where there were no small screens. That helped a lot. I’ll be glad to have my large screen next week! And my dogs! And the horses! And the family! I keep dreaming about horses. Weird dreams where they do odd things but I’m fine with it.

I’ll miss the hazy shoreline.

I also know it’s time to go, because loud people showed up next door, for the first time in two weeks! I’m glad I have an online horse meeting tonight. That will drown them out

My goodness, actual vehicles in the water.

Tomorrow I have to work more, somehow, after checkout. And ship those turtles home. I’m sure I can do it. Then yay, I can go home.

I’m too tired to write. So, bye-bye stats! I’m gonna knit the border on this fine blanket.

Just needs borders

How Nature Deals with Trauma

You may remember that a couple of days ago we were surprised by a fire alarm in the building where we are staying, right in the middle of important meetings I was supposed to be holding. Going down all those stairs, then trying to train people in software from an overly sunny condo balcony was hard on my nerves. I am not convinced that it was traumatic, but it was most assuredly unnerving. I ended up getting rid of all my nervous energy by taking a very, very brisk walk up and down the Myrtle Beach boardwalk, which is about a mile and a half.

Some of the boardwalk area is not even a little sleazy.

I felt a lot better after that and was able to get through the day. I must admit, however, that I walked more briskly than I realized, because my legs still hurt today…and I’m used to doing a lot of walking! I’m sure I look like I’m old and arthritic when I try to haul myself up out of a chair or go downstairs.

Latest reading matter

Anyhow.

Here’s some more of that synchronicity that’s been happening to me ever since I declared myself someone who didn’t believe in such things. I sat down in bed last night to read more from Mark Rashid, the horse trainer who talks about people’s relationships with horses and how horses’ minds work. One of the first stories I read in Whole Heart, Whole Horse: Building Trust Between Horse and Rider was about a horse who had been through some rough times just could not settle down and whose person had tried “everything” to get it to do her bidding. Except one thing.

I feel as if some trauma is about to happen.

Rashid suggested that if the horse wanted to run, to let it run. Sure enough, after the horse ran all its energy off, it calmed down. He shared how his mentor had done the same with another horse that was a bundle of nerves. They just ust let it go run and run until it got all of the nerves out of its system and felt better.

Perhaps I will need to run and run to feel better after this lady takes away the torture device and stops shining scary lights in my mouth.

Huh, I guess that works with people as well as horses, because I’m just great now (other than sore legs), even after enduring a sales meeting!

I think I will take a nap, instead.

I remember letting Drew loose to run and run soon after I got him back in July of 2021, too. He came back much calmer and has not acted jumpy or upset since then. Rashid posits that it’s how animals who get scared often, like prey animals, get rid of their post-scare adrenaline and go back to calmly grazing and otherwise going about their normal prey-animal lives. Interesting.

I may be woozy, but not so woozy that I don’t want to cuddle up with some hay. And my teeth feel better.

Back at the Ranch

As you can see from the photos above, Drew got a visit from Bonnie, the equine dentist, yesterday. He has a cracked tooth, so she looked at it and did some work to make it less likely to get worse. He did just fine and thanks to sedatives, he was not traumatized. Dental care is really important for young horses whose teeth are still coming in, so I’m grateful that she was able to get him seen along with her horses.

Now Drew is back home with his friends at our part of the ranch after his little vacation among the green g

We’ll see if tomorrow brings more adventures than canceled meetings and gale winds, but I’m afraid my fun field trip on another boat tomorrow may be canceled. I may just have to watch the lifeguard making fun tracks in the sand that will soon get overwritten by the high tide. That’s fine. I’m safe and warm and my family is mostly all right.

Not Bad for a Free Boat Ride

Once again, I woke up extra early and got to work by 6 am home time. I guess not having the dogs keeping me from sleeping soundly let’s me get enough in just 7 hours. Of course I still miss the dogs.

I only wish we went out on this one.

After a much more successful day of meetings, training , and spreadsheet analysis (with no more fire alarms), Lee and I went downstairs to go for a boat ride we were given as a bribe or thanks for going to yet another condo sales pitch.

We had a reasonably good time on the paddlewheel trip down the intracoastal waterway. It was a cute little boat, and we had what I thought was a good meal. There were ribs and some good chicken with rice.

I enjoyed looking at fancy houses and their landscaping. I was happy to see that many of the residents had veggie gardens.

Of course I kept an eye out for birds. There were cormorants, mallards, Canada geese, and swallows, who skimmed the water as they got bugs off the surface. It was sure fun to watch them.

There were just 40 people on the trip, but it was too many for poor Lee. Plus an Elvis impersonator sang karaoke for the entire trip. He wasn’t too bad, nor too loud. But I’m not big on an endless parade of country and “I Love America” songs. I did enjoy Purple Rain, which he sang for the nice woman with the Prince purse.

It was a good break for me. Of course I have to spend an hour listening to some upgrade pitch tomorrow. I’ll live. It’s a small price to pay to get a free boat ride. Did I mention the open bar?

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to write more deep stuff. Right now I just want to watch nature shows. First some nice musician drove a Harley to look at woods in Wisconsin, and now David Attenborough is telling us how cool eggs are. Yay. Nature. Here’s some more, plus evidence of humans.

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