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seven things on a sunday

Seven Things on a Sunday @ Beyond Elsewhere

1 – I will never get tired of staring at the night sky. A dream goal is to move to a way more rural area (not, like, totally rural, but away from any big cities) and have a skylight in my bedroom. There’s something about staring at the stars, when there are no other lights around, that takes my breath away. I love the sky. So much. (But I love it from the ground, I am way too terrified up in a plane to appreciate the sky while IN the sky. Not for me. Nope.)

2 – I hate wearing shoes. Unless I’m wearing a specific pair of slippers in the house, I would much rather not wear shoes (or socks). I can’t stand having my feet imprisoned! Which is an odd thing for someone who can’t stand feet. (They gross me out. Yucko!) I don’t know why it’s bothering me so much this summer, but I spend way too much time trying to figure out what shoes to wear when I have to go out. Not because of look, but because of how they feel on my feet. I would much rather walk around barefoot if I can. Especially in the back yard, and garden, much to the chagrin of my body, because I’m allergic to the grass and then end up with a rash, or hives on my legs. But it’s worth it to feel grounded. Well, maybe not right before bed. *itch*scratch*itch*GAH!

3 – I have been extremely restless lately. Especially today. I have likened this feeling in the past to a bird rustling its feathers. Nothing holds my attention very long anymore. For example, I thought early this morning that writing this blog post would be a great idea. Five hours later, I’m only just starting the third item on this list – that’s after trying to nap, taking a shower, and playing in the garden (not all in that order.) At lot of this feeling is likely due to the week-long 40C+ weather we’ve had. I’m slowly evolving into a summer season girl, over the winter, but I still cannot stand these humid, no-air, 40C and over days.

4 – I have never known comfort of my soul like I have known with Yoshi. If you follow me on any social media you’ll probably have noticed that 95% of what I post is about Yoshi. I love all my Finnish Lapphunds, past and present, but Yoshi has stood out over them all with how much he helps me with my anxiety, PTSD, and depression.

Life as a hooman pillow

I had a week off of work at the end of July, and every morning, without fail, Yoshi would use my left arm as a pillow. He would stay there for 30-60 minutes, as I drank my coffee and browsed the internet. Sometimes he would cling to my hand as he drooled all over my arm and slept. It’s a strange thing, but I don’t think I have ever felt anything so comforting as with Yoshi sleeping on my arm. He centres me. He calms me. He’s always with me. If I go upstairs, he follows. If I nap, he’s on the bed napping. When I’m down in the shower, he’s outside the door, laying with his face in the bathroom. When I come home from work, he crawls into my lap and tries to merge his body into mine, while giving me kisses. And then he just rests. If I’m crying, he lets me hold him (of course if I happen to sneeze, or cough he gets the heck outta dodge and runs away.) Yoshi is like a real life plush toy. He calms me. He loves me. And he brings me so much joy.

Me and my Best Guy

5 – When I am rich I am going to take care of rescued Capybaras. Well, it’s up there with my dream goal of having a house in the country, with a giant skylight over my bed. Because I’ll also have a nice pool to help my little rescued Capybara swim and enjoy life. I have been in love with these rodents since I first saw one at the Montreal Biodome a billion years ago. And this past summer, two Capys escaped a zoo in Toronto and were on the lam for a month. I love these critters. I follow two of them on Facebook because I am THAT much of a dork. Joejoe the Capybara and Sweetie the Capy. How can you not love them?? I require one. I think Yoshi would like one, too.

6 – I have been listening to the same playlist on my phone for almost two full months. This might not be a big deal to anyone else, but I normal change my music up regularly. I have certain songs I always want to hear, but I love to have my music on shuffle and just see what comes up. I made a playlist of up-beat songs back in June and I have had that playlist on shuffle to and from work, at work, before I fall asleep. Over and over. I’m still not tired of it. Granted, I have removed or added the odd song or two in this time, but for the most part these 23 songs have been my daily soundtrack. I named the playlist Sunshine because it makes me happy. (Artists include: Taylor Swift, DNCE, Justin Timberlake, Walk the Moon, Tegan and Sara, The Lumineers, Fitz & the Tantrums, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Marianas Trench, and many more!)

7 – Obviously there needs to be an update about Jinx’s Garden v2.0! When we last checked in on the garden, it had just been planted. Now it’s a wild beast of a garden!

Jinx's Garden v2.0

I have never seen cherry tomato plants grow so big before. They are entangling themselves into the cucumber and melon vines, too! Maybe I’ll have some fun cross pollinated fruits. 😉
Jinx's Garden v2.0 August 2016
We have two melons coming along. One of which you can see in the first image on this post – and that’s from two weeks ago. The melon is much bigger now! I have given away more cucumbers than I have kept for myself, but I do have two on my kitchen counter right now. I am sceptical about the cherry tomatoes though. The plants are HUGE and there are green tomatoes everywhere, but they are certainly taking their time turning red. I have only picked four cherry tomatoes so far this summer. Maybe the plants are just growing TOO much and so they aren’t focusing on ripening the tomatoes they have already grown? Not sure. But this new location for the garden seems to grow plants very well. Woo!

And so ends my Seven Things on a Sunday for August 14, 2016. I almost ran out of Sunday before I got this posted. Until the next random time I post! Toodles, internet!

seven things on a sunday

Seven Things on a Sunday @ Beyond Elsewhere

 

1 – Woah. I haven’t done a Seven Things on a Sunday since DECEMBER 2014! What? That’s crazy. I was sure I’d done one this year. I’m a horrible blogger. Yeesh.

2 – I like nail polish in theory, but not in practice. I love the idea of it. I see all these pretty colours in bottles and I buy them, and I love seeing colour on other people’s nails, but then I like it for about 30 seconds after I put it on. After that, it just bothers me. I don’t know why. And I can’t stand nail polish remover, so I never use it and just let the polish I might be wearing, flake off. Making me look like I’ve lead a harsh life on the streets or something.

3 – I am happy to report that this fall I am not falling to pieces as I have for the last two years. I am a little nervous about getting through the winter and, mostly, March, but I’ve been feeling pretty strong lately in the mental department and I am so thankful for this. I will have ups and downs going forward, and I accept that. I’m just happy to be feeling a lot more like myself than I had been. I’m also aware of how I have changed since the traumatic incident in 2013. Some good. Some bad. But I’m able to work with it now. So, yay!

4 – I used to have a pretty big sweet tooth, but I have noticed as I get older that I just don’t care much about cookies and cakes as I used to. In fact, some sweet things have sat around for so long that we end up tossing them out. Not that we were completely junk food sweets people, but we’d at least eventually finish a box of cookies, or cupcakes. Now? Nope. Who am I?!

New CKC Champion Finnish Lapphunds! Mysti and Yoshi!

5 – I have never known a dog like YoshiBear. I’m convinced that he is a stuffed animal brought to life through magic. He is completely devoted to me and follows me EVERYWHERE. Annie was my soul mate dog, and Jinx was our heart, but Yoshi is my shadow and fills me with such comfort that I never knew I could get from an animal. The second-to-last weekend in September we had a friend stay over with her three dogs, and we went to a dog show that was semi-local to here. Having 5 Finnish Lapphunds in the house was fun and exhausting. Sophie was happy when they all went home (although she was pretty swayed to their cause when she discovered that two of those three dogs were on a raw food diet. HAMBURGER MEAT? YES PLEASE!!). Yoshi finished off his Canadian championship that weekend, as did my friend Manon’s girl, Mysti. Here they are in their Awkward Prom Date Photo above. It was a fun weekend, which I will eventually write about (hahahahahah! No! Really!!), and it made me wish I lived a little closer to other people with Lappies because they are completely my soulmate breed. Yoshi is done being pretty in competitions for now I think. It’s not really my cup of tea, but it’s fun to meet up with friends and play with dogs.

6 – Crap. I don’t think I can remember all seven things I wanted to write about for this post. It’s taking me way too long to write.

7 – It’s almost 9:30 pm and I am up past my bedtime and I still don’t remember what I wanted to write about when I started this post. When did blogging get so hard? Why is this difficult? Good grief. I shall try to blog at least twice more this month. Someone remind me about this at regular intervals, ok? Thanks.

seven things on a sunday – in which i don’t actually write about my dogs

1. I have realized that I am not fan of travelling. I hate flying – scared of it, and I hate being confined to one tiny seat for long periods of time. I don’t like the bus – I get motion sick, and again, stuck in one seat for long periods of time. The train isn’t too bad because you can sort of get up and move around, and I don’t get motion sick. But any trip over about 3 hours, and I start to get antsy and claustrophobic. Same goes for car trips – motion sickness if I try to read anything, or look at anything in the car. But at least it’s our own space, and we can stop and get out of the car whenever we want to. We just did a pretty epic one, and by the end I was ready to never see the inside of my car ever again. Even before we left, I was dreading the trip HOME. Thankfully the worst of my aches and pains and anxiety didn’t hit until the last leg of the trip and for that one we had about 4 hours to go. So travelling, coupled with having to sleep in beds that aren’t my own, and take showers in showers that aren’t my own, and having to live out of a suitcase… not my thing. The longest flight I have taken (that I can recall, so I am not including the flight to Alberta when I was 4), was just over three hours long – to Orlando, Florida. For Disney World. If I am going to fly, you can bet your bippy it will be for a freaking magical reason. I felt like I was trapped and wanted OFF that plane. Even when I do go places, it’s to visit someone and not to sight see. I am not a sight seeing person. Nor is Shawn. Sure, I’d like to see some places (Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Nordic countries) but until someone invents teleportation, I think I’ll pass on those trips for a while.

2. Back in early November, I got a Wake-Up Light. It’s an awesome alarm clock that wakes you up gently by simulating sunrise!

I have been meaning to blog about this for a while, and kept forgetting. A friend on Facebook mentioned having a magical, whimsical alarm clock, that has sunrise and chirping birds. I looked into this and thought that it might work well for me – because aside from not travelling well, I also don’t wake up well. The shock to my system from our alarm sound every morning always upset my stomach. It’s awful. So I mentioned to Shawn I might like to try this, and I thought it would make a great Christmas gift, but he gave it to me early because, well, November is dark and gloomy and triggers my PTSD. So this clock starts to get bright about 20 minutes before you want to get up (I have it set for 7am, so it starts to lighten at 6:40), then at 7 I have a soft, piano sound start to play, but honestly, I am generally awake way before then. It even had a sunSET setting, so you can set it to turn off after x- minutes and it will gradually darken the room. This is also cool for settling down to sleep after reading or something. I love this light to pieces.

3. We decorated our front yard Dalek for Christmas.

So far it has held up pretty well, even with all the snow we got a few weeks ago. The point of this monstrosity in our front yard is to try and protect the tiny twig of a tree we planted in the spring. Honestly I started doing this as a joke, but I think I’ll keep it up for a while. I kind of like the bow on top. heh.

4. I failed big time with Christmas cards. I didn’t get many done at al, so aside from a few close friends, I didn’t give or send any out this year. I had high hopes though. I started working on them towards the end of November. I got about 6 made. Oops.

The problem was with all the Big Things sort of dragging me down, it was difficult to find the motivation AND time to get them done. I just wasn’t inspired this year. I already knew I wasn’t going to mail as many cards this year due to the insane increase in the price of stamps, but I’d wanted to send out a few. Oh, well. I hope my friends and family forgive me. If they don’t, well, Christmas cards are a pretty petty thing to give up a friendship over. =P

5. On the topic of holidays, I never did post about what my Halloween costume was this year! Well, I was my own version of Madeline Hatter from Ever After High (the Mad Hatter’s daughter!)

Turns out there were no adult-sized costumes for this character (drat!) and she’s my all-time favourite one from that series. So I found some similar-type items at a costume shop, made it a little less slutty by covering up the cleavage drop and had fun with this in the office all day on Halloween! I even took minutes at a meeting like this. I might get frustrated being in a job that I don’t particularly feel is the right fit for me, but by golly am I lucky where I work that everyone there puts up with me and enjoys my shenanigans.

6. I love watching my husband play video games. I know this is odd, but it’s sort of like watching a television program. I don’t play many games myself (LEGO Harry Potter notwithstanding), but watching Shawn play games on his new PS4 has been very fun. He did have this one zombie-like game that I couldn’t watch too much of because it gave me nightmares (the sounds. Gah!) but even years ago, when Shawn would play other games I’d like watching, and commenting. It’s a silly way to spend time together, but I am sure other gaming households will understand. 😉

7. I made Shawn a Sophspirational Quote calendar for Christmas. This started out as a joke to cheer him up over a couple of bad days, but after I’d send them to him, I’d post them online and everyone seemed to want more. So I made about 2 weeks worth of quotes. It almost broke my brain. But now Shawn has a nice monthly desk calendar to help cheer him up when he’s having a bad day at work. After all, #NoSophie is a great motivator!

seven things on a sunday – thankful edition

Over the past few months I have been tagged in various FB memes for a number of things. I was tagged by a few people for the Thankful one, whatever it’s called. The last few months haven’t been the best and I have been avoiding much of the online world. I check in once in a while, and offer brief status updates, but really I haven’t been all that engaged in participating in social anything. So I thought it might be a nice idea to combine remembering to BLOG with listing things I am thankful for. What better time to do this than over Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Right? Right!

1. I am thankful for my family. I had tossed about whether or not to even add this to my list because it seems so unoriginal and obvious, but then I thought, wait, I really AM thankful for my family. My parents, my sister, my in-laws… they have always been there for me. They help me when I am in need of help. They love me and take care of me. They make me laugh, pick me up when I am down, and are just wonderful, supportive people in my life. My parents raised two girls to be polite, respectful, loving, and to treat others well. We grew up in a house of love, sure there were some major blow-outs while growing up (girls are MOOOOODY, yo!) but my parents loved each other (much to the embarrassment of my sister and I), they loved us, and although my sister and I really didn’t get along well when we were kids, we did bond over the embarrassment of how mushy our parents were while in public. heh. Oh, and special shout-out to my amazing, dearly-departed grandparents for being cherry on top of family love and wonderfulness. It’s only been 6, and 5 years since they are gone and I miss them so much my heart aches, but they helped raise my sister and I and not a weekend went by without seeing them. So, yes, I am VERY thankful for my family and all they have brought to my life!

2. I am thankful for my husband! Again, obvious and unoriginal, but completely 100% truthful. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for the amazingness that is my husband. Shawn is always there for me, no matter what. He’ll run out to the store if I notice I am out of juice, or bread, or — and this just happened — SAGE for the SAGE sausage stuffing I am making for thanksgiving dinner that night! I don’t even ask. He just gets up and goes. He makes me laugh so much, even when we’re both miserable and sad, he can find a way to find that laughter. He takes care of me so fully and unconditionally. I love this man with all my heart and I can’t imagine life without him. I am thankful for all the twists and turns that brought me to the place in my life where we met. He’s my rock and my heart. I love him more each day.

3. I am thankful for my friends. I grew up thinking no one would ever like me. I wasn’t good enough for friends. I was shy and insecure and didn’t realize the friends I had in my life didn’t actually hate me. It took me ages to trust people and believe that I did have friends who weren’t just pretending to like me, or spending time with me out of pity. I have some of the most AMAZING friends in my life these days and sometimes it just makes me stop and think, “Wow. I really DO have friends.” I have some long-time friends that I don’t see often at all, but when we do see each other, it’s almost as if no time has past. I have some newer friends (over the last 10 years) that I was nervous about at first, but am so, so thankful that they are part of my life. I have a support group for when I’m having trouble just living life, or need help with a mental break. I have friends who care about me, and I them. We love each other. We help each other. I trust them. And that’s a huge thing, because I don’t trust easily. I am thankful for the friends in my life who help make my life richer – either in person, or online!

4. I am thankful that I can drive. Ok, this might seem weird to most of you, but really, with my extremely long saga of learning to drive and then FINALLY getting that licence in 2011, this is something I am *newly* thankful for. I guess I should say that I am thankful that I can drive without a ton of anxiety now. I have been driving a lot lately, and so it’s freshly in my mind. On Fridays I have been driving all over the place for the past month. I drive after work to pick up Shawn from the bus terminus since he gets home late. I no longer have the steering wheel in a death grip. I am so much more relaxed when I drive and I at times I find that I actually ENJOY driving. Although, I am still thankful that Shawn prefers to drive, so when we’re together I just let HIM do it. Heh.

5. I am thankful that even though we’re not great, we’re ok. This one is a stretch, but it’s pretty true. Things aren’t the happiest right now, things are tough (not with each other, but in the rest of life) and well, we’re still ok. We’re both working, we’re both more-or-less healthy, we can pay the bills, we have each other, we have #NoSophie. We make each other laugh, and we have a ton of love. We are ok. Do we think that’s good enough for us? Not really. So we’re working on that, but right now? The things that aren’t great aren’t really the end of the world. We’ll get through it. Together. We don’t have anything super major to panic over right now though, and that’s ok. House over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our backs… we’re ok. And truly, I am thankful for that.

6. I am thankful I have (most of) my Halloween Whimsy back. Not quite at 100%, but I did take the decorations out of storage and put some up in the house AND at work. Last year at this time I was a falling apart mess (not realizing that I was dealing with delayed onset PTSD) and I didn’t decorate anything. I don’t even think I changed up my blog theme… did I? Either way, this year the pumpkins and candles have come out to play once more. I am kind of hoping to find a Jem costume to wear this year because I think three years in a row of Snow White is enough right now, but I’m still not sure what I’m going to wear to work. We get NO kiddies trick-or-treating here, which is a bummer, but that’s ok. I like to dress up for myself anyhow. I don’t have all of my whimsy back, and I am still having a hard time doing anything fun and creative, but this year as soon as October hit, I was raring to go with my Halloween decor! It is my favourite time of year after all. Next up? CHRISTMAS DECORATING!

7. I am thankful for sunsets. Don’t laugh. Or do. But it’s true. I have a great view from my front stoop of sunsets and I don’t know why I have become so infatuated with them over the last couple of years, but I love them. There’s something about looking up at the sky that calms me. I love the colours that explode through the clouds as the sun goes down. I am that crazy lady, out on her front stoop, in her jammies (or whatever), after the rain, in the snow, as the sun sets and changes colours over and over. I take photos with my phone and my Canon camera. I just can’t get enough of the sunsets. I don’t do anything with the photos afterwards, but I just feel like I have to capture those breathtaking moments forever. Even going back to look at them make me hold my breath and just think, “Wow.” I’m a dork, whatever. I love them to pieces. Thank you, nature!

seven things on a sunday – summer time

1. I used to think Summer didn’t mean much unless you were able to spend your days in the country, near the water. Summer time in the city was never appealing to me and I always moped around waiting for autumn and winter. But the last few years, thanks to the help of Jinx’s Garden and the way my body and mind have changed due to exercise, I’m appreciating the summer months way more. The more muscle I build, the less over-heated I am when it’s warm out. In fact, some days I can wear a light sweater because I’m chilly. I haven’t experienced this since I was a teen. I feel grounded and calm when I walk through the garden barefoot. I am spending way more time outdoors this year than ever before. Reading, walking, running, whatever. I still long to be able to do all of this near water, but at least I am learning to enjoy the season no matter where I am.

2. I have just finished the first week of my two-week vacation from work. There’s an odd sort of guilt associated with vacation time that I can’t seem to shake. I have done almost nothing productive this past week. I have sat  outside, inside, and read. I read nine books in the last 7 days. I keep feeling like I should be doing SOMETHING with my time off other than sit around and read, but right now, that’s all I want to do. Why do we feel like we need to do stuff around the house, or be productive when we take time off? I realize that it’s often during this time that we can get stuff done, but it should also be ok to just relax when you’re off from work. Without feeling guilty. Right? I will be home alone next week as Shawn starts a new job, and that’s when I plan on puttering around the house (getting ready for a garage sale, cleaning stuff, etc). But this past week, I just needed to recharge. Since I don’t have a body of water to gaze out over, I got lost in books. I haven’t been reading like this for a long time, and it’s just nice to get back into it.

3. On Tuesday, it will be three weeks since we said goodbye to Jinx. It’s been a very difficult thing to get through our heads. Since it was so sudden, it almost feels like it never happened. We’re both constantly looking up and thinking Jinx is there, in the room with us. Jinx’s absence has made it hard for me to tend to the garden. I feel like the wind is knocked out of me each time I go down to check on the tomatoes and coocumbers. In fact, the cucumbers just aren’t growing much this year. It could just be a bad crop, but honestly, I think it’s because Jinx wasn’t down there walking through them and snuffling them. This is the first year they have not thrived. I also find it so empty when I am outside on the back deck reading. Jinx would also come out with me and just lie on the deck, enjoying being outdoors. He’d watch for squirrels and protect me from them. He’d wander down and snuffle his garden. I keep looking up from my book to talk to him and tell him he’s handsome, and a good boy. But he’s not there. Sophie does not like spending time outside at all. I’ve tried having her out there while I enjoy the air, but she just paces in front of the backdoor, waiting to be let in. It’s sad. I’m trying to find peace in the outdoors without Jinx at my side, but it’s a painful process. Still, the backyard, and Jinx’s Garden are healing me, slowly.

4. Summer time means sitting on the back deck, in the evening, with a cigar and a beer. Or wine. Or a rum and coke. Not often. Very occasionally. But it’s still something we like to do when the evenings are warm and the crickets are chirping away, and the sun is setting. It hasn’t been too humid this summer, in fact, I feel like this summer has had the most perfect weather (but that’s because it hasn’t been humid and 30C+). There have been very few mosquitos this year, which makes sitting outside in the evening a blissful experience. The spring was late and wet, so the bugs were bad then, but so far, July and August have been lovely. Shawn and I laugh and talk about everything and anything. We cry over missing Jinx. We listen to playlists on music streaming apps. We decide we need to groom Sophie. (Sophie isn’t as big of a fan of these ideas as we are.) It’s peaceful, and although we bring our phones outside with us (to capture these moments on instagram), we are disconnected from our computers for a while and we just enjoy being with each other.

5. I love the sounds of summer. Chirping birds, chirping crickets, wind in the trees. Lawnmowers in the distance. Kids playing (as long as they aren’t screaming and really loud). The distant sound of motorboats on the river. I like those sounds better when they are closer and I am near a beach, but still. The sounds of summer make me happy. The best part about this cooler-than-average summer is that we have been able to have our windows open more often and these sounds drip in throughout the day. The summer breeze brings in sweet smells of grass, water, flowers and boat fuel (I like it, ok?) and sounds of summer. Much better than the constant drone of the air conditioner (which is actually on today because it’s humid and hotter than it has been. Totally ruining the point of this post. =P)

6. I long to spend my summer in a cottage, near water. That hasn’t been a reality for years (since I moved out on my own), but I know that one day it will happen. Even if we just rent a cottage for two weeks somewhere. It’ll happen eventually. We’ve had too many summers of having our vacations not line up, or not having employment or money to do anything when we do have time together. I’d love to own a cottage, but aside from being a lot of money, it would be a lot of WORK and to really make it worth it, it would have to be close by so you could get the most out of it during the summer months. One day. We’ll have a cottage summer one day. It’s a goal.

7. For many, August marks the end of summer. And while the official season end isn’t until the middle of September, August is so different from June and July I can understand why people feel this way. August’s colours are more golden and darker greens. Shadows bathed in golden sunlight. Yellows and oranges. Not the same as fall colours, but August isn’t bright yellow, blue, and green days like June and July are. I have always loved August. It fills me with this inexplicable hope, even though I don’t seem to ever hope anymore. It fills me with an energy that makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. It’s a wonderful time to take vacation from work and just reset. I love August and its golden glow. It’s calming and perfect for lazy days of summer.

August is perfect for bath time! Even if Sophie doesn’t agree. 😉