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Foto Phriday: The Ultimate Dog Toy

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I may have created the ultimate dog toy.

I did it by combining two dog toys.

Behold: The Ultimate Dog Toy

Wait, that is a lie.

The green/blue outer ball is actually a cat toy. It was gifted to us by my mother-in-law and cousin cat Rosie.

The inner pink squeaky toy was my pup Bailey’s Valentine’s Day gift.

(I got everyone in my house a Valentine’s Day gift, including the dog, hoping that someone would give me a gift. No such luck.)

Bailey already loved the green/blue cat toy ball and played with it all the time anyway.

But I took it to the next level when I squeezed all the air out of the rubber squeaky toy and put it inside of the green/blue ball.

Bailey & her toy

Bailey pushes it, steps on it, sticks her paws and nose in there and she still CANNOT figure out how to get the pink ball out of there. I could easily remove it for her with my bad ass opposable thumbs.

But really, what would be the fun in that?

🙂

Your past shapes you. It can’t be undone.
ANGRY MACEY
NOW AVAILABLE $.99!

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POEM – kissing a grizzly bear

I got chicken
stuck behind my back tooth
I got Good Charlotte
Playin’ on my radio
Maybe I should be doin’
more with my life
But I feel like it’s almost over anyway
26 and I’m dying more everyday
One more day and I’ll fade away.

I go to work
To zone out all day
I lose myself everyday
In a caffeine and sugar haze
You think I am punching numbers
But I’m writing songs and drawing houses
And rhyming my life away
The days just seem to go faster that way.

Someday I’ll drive home
the wrong way down a one way street
Someday I’ll write a poem
that my honey will think is real sweet
Someday I’ll drive out West
to kiss a grizzly bear
Someday I’ll get brave
and get 1990s Winona Ryder hair.

They are all risky
But someday I won’t mind
I will wake up and realize
This is my one and only life to find.
–JLF
10/7/02

One of very few pictures of me when I got short Winona Ryder/Mandy Moore hair, around Fall 2005.

One of very few pictures of me when I got short Winona Ryder/Mandy Moore hair, around Fall 2005.

Well, it seems there are at least TWO pictures...

Well, it seems there are at least TWO pictures…

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
The Wind Could Blow a Bug – AVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It NEW RELEASE!

365 Days

When I was a tiny child, a year was a very Very VERY VERY long time. In January, it would seem like Christmas would never come around again. Same with Halloween.  A year was just an infathomable amount of time for my immature brain. I knew that each day passed, and month by month, eventually we would get there. I knew this to be true. But it was just an eternity. I can’t even describe it. While so many other memories have faded, that one is still relatively clear in my memory.  The endlessness of time stretching out before me.

And from things my son says, I believe this is how he experiences time as well.

Here is an ugly picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Here is an ugly picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Maybe time moved so slow for me because as a child I spent a lot of time being bored. “I’m bored” came out of my mouth probably every hour of the day. I was bored in school. I was bored at home. I was bored in the car. I was bored at the grocery store. I was bored visiting my Gramma.

I look back now, and all that “bored” time just seems like such a waste. I could have been writing the books then that I don’t have time to write now. I could have hugged my Gramma a few more times while she was still here.

When I was in middle school and high school, time went faster than as a child, but was still very slow. And while the three months of summer vacation always ended way too soon, each individual day was slow and boring and painful to sit through. Sixteen hours of television a day helped a little. But even the Brady Bunch and The Dukes of Hazard can get boring after a while. Just like this post…

Here is a beautiful picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Here is a beautiful picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Now…Well, MY GOD.

I had my son yesterday. I went to sleep, and he is approaching his fourth birthday. Some of that is because my husband and I mentally block out a lot of the anxiety we had around his medical issues and surgeries. But even when I think about my previous employer, I CANNOT BELIEVE that I was there for over 12 years. (Especially because I didn’t really enjoy it, always wanted to do something more creative, and told myself if I was still there after 5 years, someone should shoot me. And now history repeats itself. I am always trying to do the responsible thing. I never learn. Enough of my whining…) I can’t even fathom how many books I added into their computer system. One that has now been powered down for good. I once calculated that in the year 2007, I allocated 15 million units of calendars as part of a three person team. (Yes, that is straight off my resume.)

I get up now, I rush through my day, doing everything as quickly as I can, sometimes accurately and efficiently, usually not. At the end of the day, I realize that it is actually Friday. I lost the whole week. I am so tired that I go to sleep. I get up, eat breakfast, and somehow it is Sunday night already. I have to turn around and do it all again. My life is racing by me. I don’t have one second to sit down and appreciate anything.

I am afraid tomorrow that I might wake up dead. I am not kidding. People in my family do not have a very good shelf life. Sure, my mom survived terminal cancer, but she has the longevity of the Eatons making up half her genes. They only make up a quarter of mine.

I just need to hurry, to finish as much as I can before I expire like a bottle of Diet Rite at a gas station.* But, the more that I hurry, the more behind I get, the faster time flies. I just wish a had a stop watch, so that I could pause everything so that I could enjoy what I have while I have it. And I need to book that trip to Las Vegas, and Hawaii.  Because someday, I will not be here to do it.

* No one buys Diet Rite, and all diet pop has a shorter shelf life to begin with because of the artificial sweeteners.

Morning Thoughts

I often think it would be better to live back in the pioneer days. My mom pointed out the other day that people back then worked from sun up to sun down, and it was a hard life. But think about it.

Hahaha

Hahaha

Farmers, for instance largely (with exceptions, of course) worked for themselves. Sure, we can get a 40 hour a work week, and the rest is free time. But that is 40 hours of YOUR LIFE every week that you are working for someone else, doing their menial tasks, and missing out on seeing your family. If you were back in the old days, you had to spend all day washing clothes, growing and preparing food, and making your own clothes, soap, etc. But it was FOR YOU! If you slacked off, then you had nothing to eat. Your family worked at your side next to you.

MORNING THOUGHTS-pioneer woman

I used to have a monotonous job that I knew exactly what to expect everyday. That job bored me to tears, and I hated it.

Now I have a job that challenges me. Everyday is something new. Now I crave the familiarity of boring.

I have issues with having a job just for a paycheck. I feel like I should enjoy it, and be happy to go and spend my time there. This is where my anxiety comes from. What if I am wasting precious hours of my life doing THE WRONG THINGS? I don’t have a problem with being a responsible adult. I have problems with the precious moments of my limited life slipping away. That is why getting up every morning currently give me life-altering anxiety.

MORNING THOUGHTS-anxiety girl

When I was in school, I once thought if I sat for long enough and thought hard enough, that I could figure out how the universe was created. I tried it one day.

Nothing.

But this illustrates my point. WHY can’t I just accept the Big Bang theory or Creation or Aliens grew us in their laboratory? Why do I feel like I have to do everything myself? It was the same way when I started my quilt. I didn’t want to read any books about it or ask anyone. I just wanted to invent my own way.

I am a person who felt guilty leaving my dog at home by herself for 4 hours daily. My husband and I worked different shifts for years, and one consideration for that for me was always that the dogs did not have to hold their pee for 8 or 9 hours. Now, our one remaining dog is now along for 9 hours in a day. But we avoided it for as along as possible.

Other people seem to be able to just work 40 hours (or more) and drop their kids off at daycare with no problem. Some people do this from the time that their children are born. I was lucky enough to have three years at home with my rug rat.

What is wrong with me? Why do I have to question every tiny aspect of my life to try and figure out if it is right or wrong until everything just seems wrong? Why can’t I just chill and be happy?

And the thing is, when my kid and I were at home, he spent large quantities of time watching television and trying my patience until I yelled at him. Maybe he is better off learning educational fundamentals and surrounded by adults who have to be more patient with him, because it is against the law not to?

I can’t be the only one bothered by all of this. My asbestos friend makes an annual list of why she home-schools. Near the top (not that the reasons are ranked) is always “we would miss our girl if she was gone to school for 8 hours everyday.” She works part-time, so somehow her life magically balances out with lots of family time, even with all the volunteering she does. Her family gets along very well on little income.

My household does not. We bought our modest house at the height of the real estate market. We both recently bought new cars, now incurring car loans. We didn’t do this lightly. We had kept the old vehicles for 14 years and 10 years. But now we are trapped in this work cycle. It is not so bad for my husband. He worked 4-10hr days. Therefore, he gets a 3 day weekend every week.

MORNING THOUGHTS-Oregon Trail

Sometimes it hits me that my dog is gone.

My car is gone.

My best friend’s dad is gone.

All in the last month.

Soon I will be gone as well.

I have to hurry up and get my eight potential books published before it is too late…

(Maybe I should start with ONE book first.)

What I Learned This Week – 8/24/14

The last six weeks or so have been very trying in my life. There were events that others would be able to take in stride. There were events that would have crippled other people more. I have done the best that I could. I am still here. I tried to control my anxiety with exercise and, when I couldn’t manage to get more than a few hours of sleep on my own, sleeping pills occasionally. I read that lack of sleep actually makes anxiety worse. I tried to balance all factors.

My manager at work left. This created a full-time opening with a raise in pay that I could not pass up interviewing for, even though I find interviews highly stressful. I didn’t get that position. But another full-time position became available, so then I had to interview for that. And the decision-making process took longer. I had to plan several weeks of my life duly as “if I get the job” and “if I don’t”. I learned that I got the job. I enjoy it, although it has not all run perfectly smoothly.

WEEK-anxiety

This meant I went back to work full-time after 3 years. I had only ever worked full time when my son was 3-9 months old. My husband had been home with him then. M is now 3 1/2 years old. We had to enroll him in preschool daycare, a new experience for all of us. I have the same hour long commute that I used to have. But, I can no longer just roll out of bed a half hour before my departure time and hop in the shower, then run out the door. I have to pack lunches the night before. In the morning, I have to get myself ready, then wake up a boy who does not wish to be awakened. I have to get him to use the potty, wash his hands, and let me change his clothes. Then he wants to eat breakfast and drink. And I have learned that Sagittarius children cannot be rushed. (At least that is the case with mine.)

On the twilight of the second day of this new routine, my vehicle of 10 years decided to die. It was its time. I was not angry. Just, well, lost as to what action to take. My husband let me use his vehicle for a week and a half. But we had to car shop and get a new car. That meant less time for household chores and a few late nights getting to bed so that we could test drive and sign loan paperwork after work at the car dealership. I had to contact my insurance agent to switch over the policy.   Rediscovered how difficult it is to get anything done when you are unavailable at work 7:30AM-6:00PM Monday through Friday.

New Car: 2011 Jeep Patriot

New Car: 2011 Jeep Patriot

Speaking of which, we also had to get a new checking account, switch two direct deposits, and close the old checking account.

I had to clean out my old car, post a classified ad, then meet with people who bought it. We live in the city. They don’t take kindly to junk cars sitting unattended for very long.

I also had to postpone, then cancel a dentist appointment for my son.

I am still taking my mom grocery shopping every Wednesday night. Now we don’t leave til 7:00PM. My son and I don’t make it to bed until well after 10:00PM, which makes it very hard to get up come Thursday morning.

Parker

Parker

Yesterday was our 11 year wedding anniversary. The day started by us saying our first goodbye to one of the furry children of our union, Parker. We think he suffered a stroke a number of months ago, could be going blind, and has exhibited a change in behavior. We had him in our lives for 9 years. I have always hated that dog. Now I hate him for making me cry at his absence.  (A fuller obituary will come this week.)  He was such a challenge to live with in every way. Although, I have to believe that maybe he was sent to us to prepare us for the trails that M, our son, would present to us. Maybe Parker was the opening act.

My husband left with Parker. M, Dave (our other dog), and myself were in the backyard. When I went to go back into the house, I realized my husband, with other things on his mind, had locked us out. So then M & I had to walk the half hour to my mom’s apartment to pick up the spare key. I was fortunate that I could leave water with Dave in the backyard, and that the stroller was on the porch. It could have been worse. It could have been raining or snowing (this is Michigan, afterall…). It also could have been better. I just got off of 4 days on my feet at work doing manual labor to prepare for an event. I WAS SORE. And I had had no ibuprofen or caffeine yet for the day. My mom was able to provide keys and caffeine. By the time I got home, my husband had already returned.

It was so hard yesterday, to pet Parker knowing it was the last time. Knowing we would never feel his velvety brown head again, or his short hair, that was course when it was dirty and soft when it was clean. I am sure I will continue to find it stabbing me in the cups of my bras though. It was easier yesterday when he was gone. But then harder again this morning. Yesterday he was still in our lives, that stupid, miserable dog. Today will be our first full day without him in our home. I am sad that it seems empty. But I am comforted in my belief that no other family would have put up with his whining and peeing on the floor consistently for 9 years. And it is a much more peaceful and calm atmosphere already, without having to fight with the Parker over everything.

Yesterday we also attended our niece’s 6th birthday party. That was fun. I especially liked where I got to sit on my butt and rest. Then my husband and I went to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. We had alcohol and steaks. My son had a slight meltdown, so we went home after that. I then watched a NASCAR race on TV, which I almost never get to do anymore. I went to bed.

I was awakened at 11:30PM by Dave barking, my husband on the phone, and a police searchlight shining in our front window shortly thereafter. It seems a drunk guy couldn’t find his way home, so he decided to sit on our porch and smoke, try to flag down cars, then lay down on our deck. My husband called the cops. They took the guy home.

Finally. Our totally weird anniversary day was done.

And also, hopefully, our messed up last few weeks.

Then this morning, we find the dude’s cell phone. It was dead, so we put it on our charger. We checked his contacts. We snooped through his Facebook and found out his name. My husband was almost about to call the number for “Mom”, when the guy called his own phone from his friend’s phone. He came to pick it up. He half-assed apologized. Apparently, if my husband and I REALLY wanted to celebrate our anniversary, we should have been at the same bonfire that dude went to.

Also, my asbestos friend, who is like family, has lost her dad a few weeks ago. Her family (who is like family to me) had a car accident last week. Their car was sadly totaled. Since they were just across town, I went and gave them a ride home. I would have anyway, but I figured I could use all the karmic pay-it-forward I could get. (It worked. My mom had not yet gotten in the shower when I knocked on her door for my spare key yesterday.)

What I Learned This Week(s):  I have to admit, in the long run, everything is probably working out for the better. It is just not always easy to see that at the time it happens. And, can I have peace and quiet now, please? Can I have some sense of a schedule and normal?

Oh wait, next week we are only working/daycare for a few days, because then we will leave on vacation. And, of course, screw up our internal clocks so that we will be all off schedule by the time we return. Oy.

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