Hey, You! Stop Doing That!

I feel like crap.

First off, let me admit that I’m in a more fragile and sensitive state than usual, so things I might usually brush off as, “Oh, that’s just Person X being person X,” are hitting a raw nerve today. And as we noted with Vlassic last week, hitting a nerve can cause pain and involuntary reactions. Ow!

At first I was thinking that I was just bugged by stuff on Facebook, but then I spot the annoyances popping up in LinkedIn articles, Tweets (naturally, and why am I reading Twitter when I’m feeling overwhelmed?), and even in face-to-face interactions.

It happens all the time, and is one of those habits I started noticing when I had small children and was practicing very hard to adhere to the directive to:

Give information, not advice

La Leche League

The idea was that people don’t react well when told what to do and what to think about any topic (breastfeeding being a great example). My training also reminded me over and over again not to give out advice if I wasn’t asked for it. In other words, if someone parents differently from me, that’s their right, and it may well be working out just fine for them.

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Hard Stuff

Sometimes when there’s nothing particularly bad going on in your life, there’s enough going on with your friends that it makes your head spin.

From Oprah.com

I joke that when that recent Mercury retrograde period ended, supposedly making communication easier, it suddenly caused people to just start spilling all their past indiscretions, stuff perhaps no one really needed to know, and painful memories.

I sorta want it back.

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What Else Is New?

at the ranch, that is. There have been a few tidbits and sightings I wanted to share.

Weather. Ugh.

It’s bone dry, but there aren’t any bones.

First off, I know it’s hot and dry here, because the little runoff pond is bone dry. The dogs went in there to check for crawfish, but didn’t find any.

And the ground is now full of holes and big, long cracks. Along with extra-crunchy grass, this tells you we’re in the bad part of summer.

Hello, down there.

Yep. It’s hot. But there’s a stiff breeze making the front porch bearable for the moment.

Other Stuff

Three prickly pears.

Walking with the dogs always brings discoveries. Today I found things in threes, like these morning glories and prickly pear fruit. (Which reminds me of the carne asada con nopales I had Friday. Mmm. )

Three morning glories

As I was looking at the cactus, I heard a thump. Just to my left I saw that a large grasshopper had flown into the very sturdy web of one of our numerous yellow garden spiders. I started recording only seconds after it landed, which explains why I didn’t turn the phone landscape. 40 seconds later it was wrapped and paralyzed.

At least it didn’t suffer. Sara asked if I’d speeded the video up, but nope. Those spiders can MOVE!

It’s so weird. Those are holes, not raised mounds.

The other natural phenomenon I’ve been watching are the traps laid by doodlebugs, as they call ant lions here. I watch the ones over by the tack room spitting dirt out of their traps. It looks like little explosions.

Chicken Time

And I’ve figured out that two of the chickens roost next to their food. At least the other five seem okay back in their coop. For now. Tyler cleaned up the place where Buffy was hiding, but she still hangs out in the barn.

Buffy and Big Red stake their claims.

And I have a final piece of good news. After spending quite some time trying to figure out who could fix the cattle guard leading to the cabin, I looked up this morning to see the Vrazels had found someone. We thought that was part of their lease agreement, but Ralph had informed me it was my job. Dodged a bullet there. I thanked Mr. V. And the welder a whole bunch.

Dim photo of welding truck.

To sign off, here’s a differential grasshopper. Hey, it’s not a spider!

A View from the Top…of a Horse

I’m never going to be a great equestrienne, and that’s fine with me. I started way too late, ran out of money for lessons, and don’t have enough time to really get to be great. But, I’m better than I was, anyway!

One of the things I’ve always wanted to be able to do when I’m out riding Apache is to take pictures of some of the interesting plants, wildlife, and scenery I see when I’m out riding around the Hermits’ Rest. Up until recently, I haven’t been comfortable taking my phone along on rides, because my phone is a good one, and I could break it if I fall.

Walking the line of evergreens.

Sara has an inexpensive phone she uses, so that if there’s an emergency she can let our spouses know to come help. I just relied on that, until a few weeks ago when Sara ordered us some really nice holders that have a water bottle and a cell phone pocked in them. They attach to the front of the saddle and can be secured really well, so they don’t bounce and irritate our mighty steeds.

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Whirlwind Family Visit

It’s not even noon on Saturday, and we’ve already had a busy and fun weekend. This may be a long post, but it’s just nice to write about something that went right. I’m hoping we were able to be good to others and relieve a bit of stress for them.

Yesterday, Kathleen and Chris came by, with Lee’s brother Jim and Eva, who is usually the caregiver for Jim’s wife, but was along on this trip to help out with Jim. Also among the visitors was 14-year-old Joe, Eva’s son, who gets to do some heavy lifting and helping out.

The gang’s all here.
Rose Gold. It’s subtle.

We all had a nice lunch at Dutchtowne, of course, where I spent a bunch of time taking pictures of my hair, because the light was good. I did also take a picture of the group.

After the business reason for the trip, in which Lee, Jim, and I signed a bunch of papers and Mandi notarized them, the family ran off to do errands in Temple (Vlassic asked to go with them, so he did, that traveling fool), while I tried to work as people took down the ceiling in our offices. I was forced out due to dust. This will be a topic of the Hermit Haus Redevelopment blog shortly.

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Doggie Doctor Visit

Happy Friday, reader friends. Before I start out on my assigned topic, I’d like to say hello to a faithful reader, Catherine, who informed me last night that I’d missed posting for a couple of days, and that totally messed up her night-time routine. That made my day!

Penney and I thank you for reading!

I will do my best to post at least a little something every day, so she’ll have something to read before bed. But, there will be occasional days when I have so much work or am having so much fun that I don’t get to type! Let’s hope for no more days when I’m just so sad I don’t want to blather on about my mundane stuff, which happened earlier in the week.

Dogs!

Today was a big day over at the Hermits’ Rest. We try to be responsible pet owners, even though that can be a bit pricey when you have 5 dogs and 2 equines. The first thing that needed to be done was to get our little Penney spayed, so in case a roving Man Dog shows up, we don’t get more red mutts.

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Wine Cellar vs. IKEA

Yesterday was totally lost for blogging, since I had zero minutes of downtime all day. Not that it was bad! I had a wonderful catch-up lunch with my friend and former co-worker, Melissa. We took turns updating each other on the past few months of our lives. I am so happy she loves her new job and is incredibly fit and glowing with inner peace. It’s good to be around people like that!

Once I got home from work (where I was doing fun stuff and figuring out answers to hard problems), the rest of the evening was consumed by trying to put together the new wine/shoe room furniture that had arrived that day.

Russ is all happy here, because he can find all the pins and such to build the first piece of furniture.

We lucked out in that we canceled a meeting of our Hermit Haus coworkers, but Russell, my former co-worker and business partner, had already blocked off the time, so he showed up to help us decipher the instructions for the two items of furniture we’d bought.

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