Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lucky? Bunny

I was standing at the kitchen sink by the window when suddenly Bogie tore out of the doggy door.  He raced to the southeast corner of the yard.  In a flurry of dirt, he grabbed something and came trotting back towards the house. 
A bunny!
I ran outside in my bare feet and yelled at him.  He dropped it.  
The bunny raced off but came up against the block wall where Bogie grabbed him again.  The poor bunny.  How could he have known he wandered into a closed off area?
I yelled again.  In fact, I was yelling No, No, No, No at the top of my voice. 
Bogie dropped the bunny again.  This time the bunny tore off towards the front of the yard and almost made it to the front gate. 
Almost. 
I never realized before how fast Bogie can run.  
I ran back inside to get shoes.  When I came back out, Bogie was in the grass, standing over the bunny on the ground.
Bogie didn't stop me from grabbing the bunny off the ground.  But as I tried to move away with it, he came toward me.  
Before Bogie could grab it back, I ran and dropped the bunny over the wall into the retention basin.  That's at least a 6 foot drop.  
I didn't even know if it was alive.  There had been no time to check when I grabbed it out from under Bogie's nose. 
I went out into the retention basin to check whether it was dead or how badly it was hurt. 
Stunned, of course.  It lay there on the dirt looking broken. 
I carefully picked it up and straightened it up, stroking it, talking to it.
There was lots and lots of slobbery fur, but no blood. 
No apparent broken bones. There was no way to tell if there was any internal damage. 
It blinked at me.  I wished it could tell me if it was okay. 
I set it carefully in a shady pile of vegetation under a tree and hoped for the best. It was looking around when I walked away. 
The next morning I went back out to check on it.  The bunny was gone.  
There was no signs of a struggle like a coyote or hawk had gotten it.  
It just looked like the bunny had recovered from his trauma and hopped home to share his terrifying story.  
I hope so. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I rely on notes for everything

I rely on notes to remind me about everything.  Dentist appointment? On the calendar. Vet appointment?  On the calendar.

For this coming week?  Also on the dry-erase board.

Need to pick up mayo, bread, and chicken?  On the grocery list.

Don't want to forget to water the jacaranda today.  On the dry-erase board.

Need to weed the front yard?  On the weekend chore list.

Need to change the batteries in the smoke alarms?  Put it on the master chore list.

Rooms left to paint?  On the painting list.  This despite I can visibly see which rooms need to be painted.

I have lists for everything.  I like checking things off as they have been completed.

But I am wondering if it is affecting my ability to remember without them.

I've needed to trim down the stump of a dead tree for 6 months.  I see it every time I look out the kitchen window.

But when I think about the things I have to do for the day, that doesn't pop into my head.  It's not on any of my lists.

I guess I should have expected this.  It's a well known phenomenon to put all your contact phone numbers in your phone and promptly lose the ability to recite them.

Why should to-dos be any different?

I'm not sure whether this is a problem or not.  Does needing a reminder to weed have any negative affect on my brain's functions?

I hope not.


Monday, June 13, 2016

No, really, I don't remember

Conversation with my sister.

Sister: Do you remember ?

Me: No.

Sister:  Sure you do.  He was in the class behind you, tall, blond.

Me: No.

Sister:  He hanged around with .

Seriously?  Why does me saying I don't remember generate any further conversation?

Does she think I'm lying about not remembering?  Does she think that if she hits on the right keyword I will suddenly remember some random person who went to the same school in a town I lived in 30 years ago?

I generally end up saying "What about him?" just to derail the memory train.

It happened again this week with someone else.

Her:  Do you remember when you planted those trees at the old house?

Me: No. I don't remember any trees.

Her. In the front yard. Planted 2 small trees.

Again, why does me saying I don't remember generate any further conversation?

The past is the past.  My memories of the past are in deep storage, or off-loaded into a pensieve.

Prompting has never resulted in me remembering someone or something.

So when you ask me if I remember, and I say No, just say what you wanted to say in the first place.

I really don't remember.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Because it's always been that way

Recently I've been trying to evaluate what I am keeping, spending, and doing that may have worked once, but no longer does.

Step one was to realize that I didn't get any enjoyment out of the daily newspaper any longer. Reading the paper with my breakfast was becoming a depressing start to my day. I  found GoComics which is $12 a year for tons of color comics via email versus $82 for the newspaper.

The point wasn't to save money.  The point was to re-evaluate my choices.

Step two was to tackle the closets and cupboards.  If you don't even remember you have a curling iron, and you haven't used it in 5 years, do you really need to keep it?

No.  Better to give it to charity for someone that will use it.  This was the fate of a lot of clothes and household items.

Is my environment bare and minimalistic?  Not in the least, but my mind set has changed a little bit. Just because I have room to store something, doesn't mean I should store it.

Will I actually use it?  Will I remember I have it when I do need it?  If the answer is probably not, then out it goes.

Television is my current foray.  I was spending $100 a month on satellite TV and only watching maybe 7 channels.  Of course, the ones I liked were only in a higher tier.

I bought a digital antenna.  It gets 20+ channels that assuages my need for immediate, decision-free noise.

Then I tried a handful of subscription services and free services before settling on a combination that works for me.  Even if I decide to pay for a season of Doctor Who, I am financially ahead.

And because streaming services require a little more effort and forethought, my TV watching is more deliberate.  Less noise.  More content.

More bingeing.

I'm not sure what I will tackle next.  Part of me thinks I don't really need shelves and shelves of physical books.  Part of me can't part with a book series.

The goal isn't to get rid of everything.  The goal is to only do or keep something with good reason.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hmm, maybe I do understand why my electric bill is so high.

I prided myself on keeping my average electric bill under $100.  Which is a miracle in Phoenix, Arizona.

Then they changed out my meter.

Turns out, the meter was under-reporting my usage.  The charges are re-evaluated quarterly.  First it went up to $112, then $133. And this was before I even turned on the air conditioner.

I thought to myself, what the heck could be using all that electricity?  Nothing is running.

Well, let's define nothing. These items are on all-day, every day.

4 cordless telephones and an answering machine.
The clock on the stove.
The clock on the microwave.
The refrigerator.
An instant-on television.
A Chromecast.
An Amazon Fire Stick.
A Wi-Fi Extender
7 smoke alarms
A computer hosting my doggy cams
7 doggy cams
A modem/router
2 computer monitors I let sleep, but never turn off.
An electric water heater
A water recirc pump
An electric toothbrush charger
3 tool chargers

Plus items that are on daily, but not all day:
2 cellphone chargers
2 floor fans
3 ceiling fans

I think I'm lucky my bill isn't even higher.

And maybe I need a few less electronics.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Hoarding - the good kind

I grew up with a hoarder.  My dad had an office where he wrote that had stacks and stacks of books, magazines, and newspaper piled everywhere.  One summer I was even paid to go through a couple newspaper stacks and cut out articles on para-phenomena and throw the newspaper away.

At home, the clutter was restricted to the basement, and his home office.  So I really didn't realize how bad the problem was.

Until he and my mom divorced.

Without my mom's constant attendance, the clutter expanded.  When my brother came back from New York for a family reunion, he was so appalled that he paid to have my dad's place cleaned up.

But it didn't last.

When my dad died, every room in the house, the garage, and the basement, was full of stuff.  There was a path from the front door to the kitchen and to the bedroom.  He ate at a tiny corner of the dining room table.  The rest of it was piled high with papers.

So I was reluctant to admit that I am a bit of a hoarder myself.

I have gotten tired of finding a piece of clothing I like, have it wear out, and never, ever find it again.

So when I find the perfect bra, I buy several and store them away.  Socks that fit and are comfortable.  Buy a bunch of those.

The perfect jeans?  Well, those are kind of expensive, so I don't stockpile those.  But I'll buy one more pair than I need.

My biggest fear was that this behavior was leading me onto the path of the hoarder.

Then I discovered that my sister does this, too.  Now she comes from the same shaky family tree so that was only sort of comforting.

But when my best friend said that she does it too, I felt such a relief.

I'm not a hoarder.

I'm being proactive.