Dear Amazon

you are not my friend

I think I have a problem

It’s not hoarding if you actually read the books, is it? I mean, okay, the TBR pile is 12 deep in this room but I WILL read them all. So what if there are three more TBR piles upstairs? I could be smoking or doing drugs, right?

I can’t describe the joy of finding a book I’d forgotten I owned and realizing I didn’t read it yet, it’s brand new, oh yay, THIS time I’ll read it, I really will!

Lately I’ve been obsessed with dog training books, books about how dogs learn, books about how to keep your dog amused, books that have a dog on the cover even if they have nothing to do with dog training. I find it very difficult to resist that “one click” button. On the plus side, I’m learning a ton about dogs. I seriously think I’ll be a dog trainer in my next career. It can’t be more difficult than teaching accounting, right?

Maverick thinks I’d be better served by just petting him constantly and throwing the ball whenever he brings it to me, letting him run around off leash and letting him eat the books.

This is why I buy training books.

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Holiday blues

They’ve hit hard this year. I’m not sure why this year is worse than others, last year was darkened by the sudden death of my brother in law but even then I wasn’t nearly as sad as I am this year.

I’m missing the old days. We did Christmas when I was a kid like there would never be another Christmas and this one had to be the best ever. I spent hours shopping, in stores and online, looking for the perfect present. We started planning in the summer, crafting began in June or July and there was always that last present that was just finished up Christmas Eve. It was a time of joy, of delight in watching the faces light up and hearing, “where did you FIND this? It’s perfect!” It wasn’t about the stuff – okay, it was about the stuff – but it was also about the joy of giving.

My grandchildren want money. Nothing else. Money. I feel like an ATM. There is no planning, no joy, no happy excitement. My husband makes the Grinch look like a Christmas lover. He also wants nothing. He’s more than happy to buy me presents – if I tell him what I want.

He can’t buy the joy.

Maverick will be more spoiled than normal. That may or may not make me feel worse.

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In my infinite wisdom, I helped the department chair choose a new text book, from a new publisher, this semester. I spent the summer reading and making notes and creating videos from this new text book. When the semester began, I had completed 6 out of 10 chapters. I have one chapter left to do, and a few days before it opens for my online students.

And I have no ambition whatsoever. Maybe it’s because I’m (still) battling this cold. Maybe it’s because I’ve lost my joy in teaching. Many things are going on at my college, and for the first time in 15 years, I wasn’t asked to teach a class on campus next semester. I’ve had several long talks with myself about this, but the feelings of hurt and disrespect have yet to dissipate.

When I was a kid, I was always the last chosen for any team. I was quite unathletic, preferring a book to a ball any day. (My mother would have to shove me out the door in the summer, and I would have my book in hand, searching for a bug free spot to sit and read till she let me come back inside) (She wasn’t meaning to punish me, she just wanted me to get some fresh air) (And may have been tired of working around me, I would be planted in one spot all day unless she forced me to move)

Even then, even though I didn’t want to play on their stupid teams, it hurt to not be chosen. It hurt to hear, “you take her this time, we got stuck with her last time!” I don’t blame the other kids, kids say stupid shit and I honestly wouldn’t have wanted me on my team either. I sucked. But I remember how it felt. And that’s how this feels.

So, I’ve kind of got a bad attitude. And yet, I’ll get it done. And hopefully it will be better next semester. I’m kind of looking forward to it – I’m teaching online so I can spend an hour a day catching up on emails and grading and never have to leave the house unless I want to. Snow days? Piffle, I’m not getting out of my jammies.

And maybe I’ll finally get this wild puppy on a schedule of some sort

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Catching a cold and other fun stuff

It’s bad enough to be catching a cold – WHERE THE HELL IS MY VITAMIN C?????????? – but hubby is right there beside me, sniffing and sneezing and he won’t take THE DAMNED VITAMIN C!

Maverick thinks that this is a bunch of nonsense and that we should all just stop being tired and go play. Thank you very much.

“get the damned ball, Mommah!”

He’ll probably be next since he decided to cuddle for half an hour this morning. Pretty much made his assholery from yesterday and the day before worth it.

“what is this assholery of which you speak?”

That would be the “almost take Mommah to the ground at the park, causing Mommah to swear quite loudly, in public, also causing judgey eyes to be cast upong us, assholery, Little One.

Ah, yes, walking is a joy with this kid Seems that half my day is spent trying to figure out why something didn’t work and what possibly will. I’ve got a ton of money invested in training manuals and courses – and seriously, telling me what I should have done is so not helpful, Maybe the next book will hold the answer. If not, at least I got the joy of buying another book!

I have learned much about dog behavior in this past year – and a great deal more about people and about myself. Apparently I can be quite the hard ass when it comes to my dog. And that’s not such a bad thing, really.

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Things I don’t understand

Why did I write out detailed directions for a semester long project, and make sure those directions are in at least three places in the course, only to have students turn in anything but what those directions tell them to do?

Why does Maverick thing he’s the lead dog and I’m the sled?

Why can’t I leave the chips alone? I’m not even hungry but they’re calling my name

Why is it 4:15 and I have yet to get a shower today?

Why am I doing this instead of getting a shower?

Why did I decide to make apple cake when I’m feeling fat? (The fact that it’s in the oven is why my fat ass is not in the shower)

Why do people think that their quirks are more important than mine?

Why is the sky blue?

Why do we have to have changing seasons? It could be summer all year and I’d be fine with that

Is it acceptable to take a nap when you have piles of stuff to grade?

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Get your shoulders down from your ears, kid

Maverick has a bad habit of licking his paw when he’s bored – or, as Dr. Dave says, “he needs a girlfriend.” (My response to that was, “I will do most anything for my puppy, but I draw the line there.) (He stopped laughing eventually)

Maverick also has a bad habit of taking off into the woods whenever I trust him offleash. (This will not be happening again any day soon, bow season starts soon and even though he can be a horrid little shit, he’s the center of my world and I prefer him without arrow holes.)

Yesterday, he had a good old romp – was gone for at least five minutes during which my heart stopped several times. (Now you see why I say he’s a little shit)

He came back, all kinds of happy with himself, and full of boogie lice. I promised to brush him out later, when I wasn’t tempted to use the brush in ways that were more appropriate than what I was imagining at that moment.

He took a nap, which he thought was well deserved, and which I thought was a good idea since I was a wee tad annoyed with the little shit.

He woke up when I went to make supper. Came towards me, putting very little weight on his right front paw. What the hell did you do, little one? He may be a shit, but I cannot deal with him being injured – why did I let him out, why did I think it was okay for him to run free, what the hell have I allowed to happen to my baby? (I am a drama queen, okay?)

(In case you didn’t know)

He proceeded to lick the paw, nonstop, for the next half hour. Nothing I did could stop it. I was in tears, knowing he’s making things worse and unable to stop it. I called a friend, who came bearing a cone and epsom salts. She examined the paw, nothing stuck in it, just red and sore. When she left, I attempted to soak this paw in a bowl of water with the Epsom salts.

The water ended up all over me and the floor.

I gave him a baby aspirin and he finally settled. This morning, little evidence of a limp, no licking. Till after lunch, and then it began again. The limping is less pronounced but the licking – stands on my last nerve and twists. I tried the cone – that was a disaster.

So it seems we’ll be off to the vet on Monday if this doesn’t resolve tomorrow. And I’ll try to remain calm and not think I’ve somehow damaged my puppy forever.

(Drama queen, remember? I need booze!)

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It’s a smaller place than we think

I can’t remember how many years ago I started following this lovely blogger She has introduced me to more than a few wonderful things over time, and tonight was another of those times – with a post she wrote about fabric birds. I searched out the creator of those birds, and voila, a new blog to follow.

Thank you, my friend.

I was feeling a bit annoyed with the world – we have a new publisher for the text we use to teach accounting and I’m struggling with their online portion. I thought I was pretty good with computer stuff, I teach a bloody accounting class online and I thought I did a pretty decent job, but this is just…………words fail me. Cluster comes to mind! It is a frustrating experience, and one that daily gets more frustrating.

But I’ll manage.

I was also feeling like I’m not getting anywhere with training the puppy – and then I remembered – Progress, not Perfection.

I’ll manage.

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Damn you, robo-calls!

Maverick doesn’t nap easily. He’s the kind of kid that just gets more wound up the more tired he gets. I’ve learned that I have to tell him firmly to go to bed, and then walk away and refuse to interact with him at all, he’ll pace for a few minutes and then settle. Naps rarely last more than 30 minutes – 30 blissfully peaceful minutes – during which I can answer emails from students and pretend I know what I’m doing in my class.

Today – we got up, I did a quick email check, and we went out to the patio so he can chase butterflies and I can drink my coffee. Then we went to the park, did a mile and a half walk, and came home. I went for groceries, he watched the door because there was a chance I might not come back. I did – and he was as excited as if I had been gone all day. 🙂 Lunch was shared because how dare I have watermelon and not share it? Upstairs we went to change the sheets and clean the Cpap and clean the humidifier and all this had to be supervised closely while jumping on and off the bed several times, stealing pillows to beat up, jumping in the tub to get a drink of water – yes, I turn it on for him – and then back downstairs, back out to the patio, chase the butterflies, bark at the helicopter, walk out to the field because peeing in the back yard is just ewwwwww.

Finally, finally, at 5 pm, he settled. 10 minutes – phone rings and wakes him up. GAHHHH! Five minutes more of barking and staring at me like I needed to catch a clue and play and he’s finally asleep again.

Oh, to be so young and full of energy!

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Sometimes you just have to go back to bed

My day started with a puppy demanding to be outside – he chases butterflies while on a long long lead, and I sit on the lawn swing and drink coffee and try to wake up. Usually I get a few minutes before having to go out but I overslept and he wasn’t having anything to do with this slackerish behavior.

After coffee, I decided to take him to the park, even though yesterday’s walk was a nightmare. Walks should not be an exercise in rule following, but more for sniffing and exploring and not being a rocket man. (Rocket man drags Mommah under things and into things without a moment’s notice, just whoosh, off we go!)

(Mommah does not like rocket man behavior)

So I came inside to get stuff ready and was met by Hawkeye on the TV. If there were ever a more self righteous, smirking asshat than Hawkeye Pierce ever on TV, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen one.

Immediate crabbiness – I just can’t understand the fascination with a show that wasn’t all that great the first 200 times and has totally stunk for the next 500 times.

So I got Maverick’s leash and said, “let’s go.” He went alright, in the opposite direction. He refused to have the leash put on, or go into the garage.
It was door slamming time. I walked into the garage to calm down, and get away from Hawkeye, and there was a honkin big spider staring at me.

Mr. Spider, meet Mr. Broom. Not today, you bastard, not today.

Then, I went back to bed. Because screw it all – sometimes you need to hit the reset button. And had bad dreams.

So I got up, ate spaghetti, read a book, and then we went for a walk. And a good walk was had. Bear suggested ice cream – well, yeah!

Reset, start over, and please – no dreams about losing my purse and one shoe while trying to find a train to Gettysburg

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Break time

We changed the text book this semester, went not only with a new book but a new publisher. In today’s world, half the classwork is done online, so setting up and linking the course to the publisher’s website should be a simple process, wouldn’t you think? You’d be wrong.

Class started on Monday and it’s been nothing but trouble ever since. Also, students don’t read so there are endless posts saying essentially the same thing, and they should be grateful that I’m in front of a computer because at this point I’m screaming at the screen.

The publisher has been singularly unhelpful about the whole process. i don’t know still if I did something wrong in the set up or if they’re just having issues on their end.

I battled with this most of the afternoon. There were also endless critical emails and posts telling me that this and that was incorrect in the course. Ooops, sorry, didn’t update your checklist, how about you hang me from the nearest flag pole and beat me bloody?

So I’m taking a break. It’s either go read a dog training book or start drinking I’ve made a list of questions and will answer them later, and work on the next week’s stuff as well. I had to remind myself that I don’t have to be accessible 24/7 – I wouldn’t be for a face to face class, I don’t have to be for an online class.

Maverick had a wonderful play date today, and I’m seeing progress on a lot of fronts with him, so that’s my good thing for the day – the rest can go suck a lemon.

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