Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Life's Changes

Life never turns out as you had planned -- it usually turns out better!
If it had been entirely up to me, I'd be a mother to four boys.

My own Cartwright clan:  me, Graham, Emmett, Cole and Carlson.  Now you know where my dog's name originated.

I had all the horses, but not the kids to put on them.
Adapt and overcome.

Life gave me my Cole after all.  And he's darn tootin' the best kid ever.
A long time from now, when he's gone, I'll get another German Shorthair Pointer, the next one shall be called Carlson...
Apparently, I will have the time to have three more subsequent dogs.  The bad news is that I'm predicted to live to 101.

www.livingto100.com is reputed to be one of the most accurate calculators of life expectancy. It's based on research from the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University.  I'm so screwed, I've only saved up to live to 72.  Maybe I should take up smoking or sky diving.
I guess it's a good thing that my new interests are a in strength training and biomechanics. I may be working on prototypes for my own use some day.

It may be that in 2070, I'll be zipping through the woods in one of these, with, of course, one of these at my side:
By that time, this would probably be Graham.

My only desire is to be a useful person right to the end.  Of service, not servile.  As long as I can help somebody or some creature, I'll stick around.
My new fledgling career as a personal trainer is fulfilling that need.  And thanks to the 20 friends and family who signed up as my trial clients while I work through my classes, this is the most cerebrally engaged I've been in years.  The desire to tailor regiments for so many different people has fueled me to forge way ahead of the scheduled classwork.  Thanks everybody!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Product Review or Why I Love Amazon

Now for something completely silly.

I read of this $26 gadget that acts as a remote shutter control for the camera feature on my cell phone. 
Amazon.com had them on sale for $6 with free shipping!

No more fighting with the 10 second timer feature.  The Shutterball communicates with my phone's camera via Bluetooth. One press of the button and I can activate my camera from 30 feet away.

"Mom, it looks like a pacifier."

"Do you need me to show you how to use it?"

"Maybe she's not as dumb as she looks after all!"

"I'm leaving, she's getting silly."

"Watch were you're grabbing will ya."

"Only John Travolta could be proud of you."

"Realize that if you dance like this in public, they will arrest you.  There aren't enough milk bones in the world that could bail you out.  Just sayin', Gracie..."

"Show 'em your afar test,"

"follow it with the up close test."

Cause to celebrate:  we have an improved way to take more pictures of us trail running and embroiled in more shenanigans...  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Art of Being a Delicate Child

17 days glued together while on vacation.
Thus, the separation anxiety plaguing the entire week following our return from Canada...
Look at that face as I'm trying to back out the driveway.
Waiting for me to open the door to his spot in the car.  Pitiful.  Tantrums, upset stomachs, crying... and Cole was just as bad.  
With Jinx gone, the thought crossed my mind to enroll Cole at a doggie day camp.
My little introvert wouldn't fit in to public school any better than I did.
Private schooling is better tailored to his 'special needs'.  So, he's back in physiotherapy twice a week with his best friend.
Structure, order and discipline, now that's more like it.
That's me in the middle, in the sanctuary of my favorite place: Joan of Arc Private Catholic School.  Being transferred in Grade 7 to public school was like tumbling into hell.  My well meaning mother would dress me up with knickers and ribbons in my hair to differentiate me from the little roughnecks from the air force base.  It set me apart all right.
I've kept zero pictures of those years, but this younger me is a good example.
 Skipping grades left me two years younger than most of my classmates and made me a prime target for bullying.  Stolen mittens, books, lunches; being knocked down, kicked and the girls were equally as mean as they boys.

I'll always be grateful for the telephone conversation I had with my dad when I was ready to quit Grade 7 and become a dropout at the ripe age of 11. He told me not to ever back down.  Stand up and fight with everything you've got. They'll either fear or respect you.  

Well, alrighty then.  I started changing out of my nice clothes into street clothes before getting to school.  I still got beat up, had my head held in a snowbank until I couldn't breath, oh and how many times did I turn around to have a ball clock me in the face.  It took many a scrimmage and finally pedaling my bicycle purposefully into a head on collision with the biggest bully to A) bend my tire into a pretzel, B) give us both fat lips and road rash, C) get me creds for being crazy.

From that moment on, I was on best terms with all the boys... but girls still had their little cliques.  
That's OK, that's why dodgeball was invented.  It's the great equalizer.  I had a vengeful streak.  The girls were older than I, meaning most were 'developping' and many had braces. I wonder why my favorite kill shots were either head or chest?

But, I digress, most of my stories do have a point.  The point being that I take particular umbrage to bullying.  
My Ameraucana hen, Poppy, is the victim of such treatment from her coop-mates.  The malevolent hens pluck her feathers.  The logical answer is to cull Poppy and end the problem.  Why convict the victim?
She's very calm, especially if a cricket gets tossed her way every once in a while.

I'm in the cricket rearing business now.  Only Poppy (and Wilbur) get the crickets... higher protein diet and a few new judo moves, Poppy will be the one doing smack downs soon.  
Until then, she gets a new suit of armor...sewn on to her...again.
Alright girl, make them fear you!
"Mummy, I don't feel like Rambo yet".  
I sat her on my lap and gave her my best motivational speech: my favorite passage from the epic poem of Beowulf written over a thousand years ago.

"Do your utmost.  A good name, a glorified example and fame after death are all you can win in this world.  It is the courage to strive, not success, which ultimately reveals and ennobled the true hero."

Then she pooped on me.  That means 'Roger that,cleared for takeoff' in chickenese.

Battle Royale

Voles have been responsible for the multiple crop failures in my garden this past year.

Fuzzy little anathemas devoted to mass destruction.  
My counter attacks are beginning to change the tide.

This could be considered hunting a baited field.

Rat traps, no more messing about.  I'm sick of every delectable green in the garden being mowed down by those varmints.
A day was spent toting goat manure to the garden and tilling it in.
It would have been faster to incorporate and turn the garden by hand. But, I was determined to play with my tiller; in spite of the fact that it was buried in the horse trailer, had been winterized and then needed to be put back in the trailer and re-winterized.  I love giving myself a hard time.

One week later, the spinach, kale, lettuces, arugula and beets have remained unmolested.

Go ahead Vole, make my day.