Snowy Bush

Snow covered bush

It snowed yesterday. Uschi and I very much disagree about how we feel on this. Unfortunately, even if we were both pro-snow, I think she’d still be upset with me for having to work and thus not letting her have some quality romping time. And thanks to slightly warmer temps since the arrival of the snow it has become mostly slush and ice and not really rompable. Not that the shepherd didn’t try to drag me into along to attempt such frivolity anyway.

In other news, I got my hour of yoga in this morning before work. Except instead of actually wanting to do work things all I want to do is take a nap. This bodes unwell. But I have yet to drink my coffee so maybe all hope is not yet lost.

Busy, Busy

Generally when I am this swamped with things to do I’m usually stressing out beyond belief. I’m happy to say I’m about as far from that as possible. I mean, there’s stress, but it’s not making-my-hair-fall-out-giving-me-migraines kind of stress . . .  it’s just an expected kind of stress and I know almost none of you know what I’m talking about and for that again I apologize.

However, that said I have given some serious thought to my (non-)resolutions and given my incredible load right now it’s just unrealistic to expect all those things to happen. Yes, those are all still priorities; yes, I want them to be habits; and, yes, I realize this seems like quitting. But it’s not. Fact is all three of those are doable, but all three at one time plus everything else going on is likely to kill me. And truth be told trying to cram it all in is making most of those things particularly unfun, which is exactly the opposite result I want.

So, I’m revising my plan. I’m going to try and get yoga in as much as I can throughout the rest of this month, but I’ll start my daily routine push on February 1st, which is coincidentally when my instructor has set a challenge for 31 classes in 31 days. And I’m going to lay off the daily photograph and try for a weekly photo each week. I’m horribly displeased with most of the “just shooting these because I have to” images I’ve gotten. I just don’t have the time to really think of doing anything more than randomly snapping something and that’s not really helping me improve my photographic skills; it’s just frustrating and kind of a letdown. Writing, however, I will continue to work on daily, but I’m going to reevaluate this position when I start back on the daily yoga because keeping the pain in check is really the priority for me when all is said and done.

Oh, also, getting this house organized and cleaned. It’s disgusting up in here. Plus, I really want to get some cupcakes baked and decorated; I owe way too many people some at this point.

The First

If ever there was a busier day to try and cram in three new daily habits it would be today, but with this here post I have officially completed all three. I won’t say I’m entirely satisfied with how any of these played out, but this isn’t about achieving the best results. Maybe later on in the year once I’ve accomplished the habit-building I can start being more critical. For now I’m proud to say that I crammed each of these things in despite many other priorities for the day.

I thought I had a pretty solid system for maintaining myself in terms of accountability what with announcing my intentions yesterday, blogging about my progress, and participating in some challenges related to these activities. But this morning I discovered one other source that I hadn’t expected: Uschi. She observed me while I prepped my usual spot and went through my 40-some-minute routine. And she was very deliberate about it, too, stopping her relentless bone-gnawing anytime she noticed me shifting position. At one point I thought she’d wandered out of the room only to cause her to rustle her collar as I tilted my head to peer into the dining room where she was sprawled out under the table. Her extreme attentiveness actually concerned me as I fully expected her to pounce on me when I was through, but I’m thrilled and relieved to say she is still keeping her good post-yoga behavior. Sometimes she really surprises me with how much she’s matured . . . And then she flings herself at me and stands on her head, so you know, it’s all relative.

Yesterday Brooke texted me, wondering if Uschi had yet destroyed her new toys and I was pleasantly shocked to admit that all were still basically intact. So, of course, hours later she tore into one of the plush toys, dug out its squeaker (which she’d already broken), chewed it to bits and ripped out most of its stuffing. We’ll see how long before the rest face a similar fate.

In totally other news, there is still waiting going on, but it might be coming to an end soon. You cannot imagine my relief. Well, unless you’ve been texting with me for the last few weeks and then you’re probably more aware of how neurotic I am than you actually cared. I have really patient and awesome friends, by the way.

Anyway . . . Happy New Year!

Non-Resolutions for 2013

I don’t really believe in the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Goal-setting and self-evaluation don’t need to be limited by a calendar date and just stating your intentions of doing something isn’t really actively changing anything. However, like prior years I do have some things I plan for the coming year. Specifically I have three things I am going to attempt to do each day:

  1. Practice yoga for roughly an hour.
  2. Post on this blog and/or write something.
  3. Take a photograph.

I will confess that I don’t intend to force myself through any of those because that just might be crazy. My goal is to have a habit of doing each of these and both being accountable for and the actual act of daily repetition will hopefully work towards doing that.

All of these things are important to me in different ways and to varying degrees I’ve let all of them fall by the wayside. I’m striving to be more comfortable about my abilities as a photographer and get more creative with things that I would like to shoot, which has been something I’ve already started working on but not to the frequency I’m proposing. My writing has taken a supreme backseat to lots of other things over the last year and thinking about it the last time I really felt like writing was when I was blogging daily throughout 2011. Of course, the issue with that was I had less desire to blog, so I’m incorporating the two together and we’ll see where it goes. The yoga is the most disconcerting of this list because I was actually doing really well with practicing daily. I managed to spend a week at my father’s even and not miss a day and yet throughout this past month I’ve been very sporadic and lazy about it. Considering it’s the only thing that’s been of any help with my pain issues this is something that is totally unacceptable.

As luck would have it, there are a few relevant challenges to help kick start my 2013 plans. I’ll natter on those more specifically if/when I decide to officially participate, though I have already confirmed one I plan to partake in that isn’t specific to the things listed here. I am very intrigued by all of the challenges because essentially it’s providing a support system and by extension another layer of accountability. However, there’s been a few events over the last several days that have dampened my enthusiasm for one specific challenge I was thinking about and I’m feeling more than a little conflicted about participating.

In any case, 2013 is looking to be an interesting year!

Uschi is Thankful for Yara

Last night we returned from a week at Dad and Keith’s. This is how we left Yara:1

Yara asleep on the living room floor

Uschi had the time of her life with Yara. She played and played and played! In fact, she played so much she literally wore Yara out to the point that Uschi got a chance at being Dominant Female for a bit. And I sincerely wish I could have managed a video of this because it was possibly the most hilarious thing ever. The first time Uschi had an over-sized squeaky tennis ball in her mouth the entire time, so rather than bite Yara or grip her neck, Uschi basically just bounced around and headbutted her. Another attempt was slightly less hilarious and nearly started an actual fight when Uschi bit Yara on a paw a bit too hard and wouldn’t back down. But aside from Yara possibly needing a vacation of her own to recuperate from our visit, the girls did enjoy themselves and got along very well. They even were pretty good about eating, though, there were a few meals where some creative trickery was required to get one or both of the girls to finish her food. For the most part they were basically inseparable, including being a very attentive audience to my daily yoga.

Highlights of the week not specific to the dogs: Thanksgiving Day itself was nice. Ate too much as is customary. Saw my one cousin’s baby son for the first time. Friday I treated Keith for his birthday and we had dinner at Brooks’ BBQ and went to see Skyfall. I haven’t had Brooks’ since before I moved from Oneonta and the movie was pretty good. Saturday we canned cabbage from the garden. I’m not particularly fond of cabbage and I was even less fond of how the house smelled after this project, but what can you do? On Sunday we had our own Thanksgiving meal that was mostly gluten-free2 and had a lot of yummy veggies from the garden.3 Not surprisingly, we stuffed ourselves yet again. Dad and I made a flour-less chocolate cake, too, and got to test out this very awesome trick to separate eggs.4 Then Monday Dad and I started the supreme project of painting my old bedroom (a.k.a.: his office). We were still working on it Wednesday before I left and it’s not quite finished, but we got a lot accomplished in the three days and it already looks a lot nicer.

Anyway, I completely forgot to bring the stack of holiday cards with me so I’ll be working on them as time and my ability to use a pen allow. In other words, I will likely miss that deadline of December 1st. But if you haven’t yet expressed your desire for a card, there’s still time to let me know!

  1. The new media uploader here on is very fancy, but incredibly disorienting.
  2. My dad has an intolerance and is attempting to give up eating gluten.
  3. Including the detested cabbage from the day before
  4. I made something of a stink about the recipe requiring separating eggs and Dad mentioned seeing the video on Facebook. We tried it out and were truly amazed at how perfectly it works. We both remarked we’d never separated eggs so completely (and easily!) before.