sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
Having a weird mood crash. It helped to get out of the house and do things, so I picked up another shift at the humane society. Also: air conditioning. It was 85 degrees F today (29 C), which is hot for this early in the season, and I'm not used to it yet.

I dropped off some clothes at Good Will and went inside to admire their newly remodeled store.

Went to the dog park. Mostly sat on a bench in the shade, and eventually some of the regulars came by so I sat and listened to them chat. Ended up spending close to two hours at the park.

Watered some plants. It's time for this asparagus fern to get rehomed, because it just stabbed me in the finger with one of its thorns. Some of the other plants I have look a little rough from being newly placed outside.

Picked some strawberries from the back garden and am eating them right now!

I broke a glass today and a plate yesterday. Dropping things and not-quite-grasping things is one of those weird RA symptoms. I think my anxious/depressed mood is a combo of missing WisCon people and having inflammation and the hot weather.
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
I am going to need to process some shit regarding my mom, and process it a lot. But I'll save that for another day and tell a nice little story.

Today I caught a stray dog in the dog park. This little Yorkie was following Abbie around, annoying her, sniffing her rear, etc. He didn't seem to have an owner. I asked around and no one recognized the dog, and he didn't have a collar. The Yorkie followed us to the gate (I intended to go get my phone and call animal control). He followed us into the "airlock" (double gates), so I threw my coat over him and picked him up. Someone lent me a leash and we looped it over his head.

He was a little snot in the car, trying to bother Abbie (who rides in the back seat). I kept one hand on his leash and made him sit in the front. He got dirt everywhere.

I thought I could just drop him at the Humane Society and leave, since I was on a short schedule. I had to get across town to the Barrymore by 4:45. Well, the HS was super busy. There was a dog out in the animal admitting area so I had to wait. But strangely, the Yorkie calmed down once I had him on the leash and walking. He was friendly and nice. I also had to fill out a little bit of paperwork. Finally I dropped him off and went home to drop Abbie off. Abbie was pretty annoyed and stressed at this point but I figure she'll get over it!

Then I buzzed through Arby's to get a sandwhich real quick and drove to the Barrymore. I was late but JUST on time to sit down before the movie started. I had a weird moment outside the theater where I shook the hand of some judge who was campaigning, and I thought she wasn't going to let my hand go. She's an old lady but she squashed my hand kind hard. Whatever, I'll still vote for her.

So then I went to see a documentary about Ferguson and sat through the super awkward Q and A. Whew! That was a packed-full day. And I also went to comics club!

eta: the Yorkie was adopted from the humane society in late April. :D


Oct. 23rd, 2016 05:46 pm
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
I have several very nice, older-than-me friends at the dog park, many of whom are about the age of my parents. Today I ran into one of them who was walking with her friend, let's call them Ann and Sue (not their real names). Ann explained that she is moving and her new place isn't ready yet, so she is staying with Sue.

"It's really nice," said Ann. "like having a wife."

There was an awkward pause. "Except better, because... you know... she's my friend."

I had also run into Ann downtown on the day same-sex marriage was legalized and people were getting married in front of the city-county building. Ann was similarly awkward and funny during that encounter, complimenting some young man's funny t-shirt (I don't remember what it said) but then going "I mean... I'm not gay". He charmingly said back, "Oh don't worry honey, it's not catching."

Ann also mentioned today that she'd gone to a Joan Baez concert. When she mentioned it to her young employees, they had no idea who Joan Baez is. I said, oh yeah, I only know because my mom's a big fan. Ann and Sue both made faces at that.
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
[personal profile] wild_irises asked: What's the best thing about Sorcha?

There are so many good things about Sorcha! She is a very loving and affectionate dog, and when I am around her, I think that I am a more loving and patient person. (Not that she doesn't try my patience sometimes! But her challenges are pretty minor ones.) She brings a lot of simple happiness to my life. She is a good cuddler, sometimes lying on the couch with me and putting her chin on my wrist or leg. She makes cute sounds like clacking her jaw when excited (a Greyhound trait), huffing air through her cheeks, or little growls and yips when she is dreaming.

I've been around animals most of my life, so all this isn't unexpected; but, it is a surprise how easily she fit into my life when I got her. It's like she's always been here.

There are some ancillary benefits to dog ownership: A pet is a neutral topic of conversation to bring up with co-workers, family members, and strangers, unlike a lot of my other interests (which most people think are weird, or which at least require some explanation).

Walking at the dog park once or twice a day has been very good for me and Sorcha, it's a nice routine, it's social, it gets us out in the fresh air, and I've met some very nice people there. The kind of small talk that happens at the dog park is very non-demanding and seldom stresses me out, unlike small talk almost anywhere else-- often we talk about dogs, sometimes about work or the weather.

Having an unusual, recognizable dog means that people will approach you in the neighborhood when you are out walking. This could be good or bad, depending on your circumstances, but for us it's fine since Sorcha is generally very calm. So, I've had some nice interactions with my neighbors and gotten to know more of them.

Oh, and she takes a good photo. :)
sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
I really liked this post by s.e. smith: In Defence of the Urban Car.

I am good at guilting myself about things. The "shoulds" can take the voice of a parent, or the voice of liberal politics, or just a general sense that I should be doing more things during the day. As a person with lots of pain and fatigue, I generally need to rest a lot and I often have low productivity. It also helps me to drive my car rather than walk or ride the bus. The bus makes me feel motion sick and sometimes anxious. Walking leaves me tired out.

Last spring and summer I would walk to the neighborhood dog park (about 4 blocks) quite regularly. Then in mid-summer my knee swelled up. I started driving to the neighboring town's dog park, about 4 miles away. For some reason, in my mind there were two choices: walk to the nearby dog park or drive to the further one.

Then at some point it occurred to me that I could *drive* to the nearby dog park, saving my knee, saving gas and time, etc. I could walk longer at the park because I wouldn't have to walk back up the hill to get home. It seemed a little ridiculous to get in the car to drive the short distance to the park, but on the other hand, it helped me a lot. So now, that is what I do. This decision was about giving myself permission to make my life easier, as a disabled person.

Having a diagnosis of RA did help with this act of "giving myself permission." Social support from others also helps. Sometimes people at the DP (dog park) ask if I live in the neighborhood, etc, and I will say in a self-deprecating way, "Oh yes, I should probably walk here, but it just makes it easier to drive, what with my knee," etc. And nice comments from friends and acquaintances in support do help. There is a nice parking lot there and plenty of other people drive.

Other places this applies in my life: Doing just one load of laundry instead of all of the laundry. Using the clothes dryer instead of hanging clothes on the line (except that the driers don't work very well!) Doing a few dishes instead of all the dishes. Breaking tasks up into small bits over time. Some tips on UnF*ck Your Habitat have helped because that site emphasizes small, manageable tasks, with built-in breaks: 20/10s are 20 minutes of cleaning then a 10 minute break. Also they recommend concentrating on a particular area of cleaning, one that you really notice when you are finished.
sasha_feather: ken watanbe with a horse and dog (ken wantanbe with pets)
I went to the park fairly early this AM. I don't know why I got up so early!

When I walked in, a man warned me and some other folks, "Don't go into that corner," (gesturing), "there are some abandoned dogs and a Pitt Bull attacking other dogs...." he rambled a bit and I couldn't understand entirely what he was getting at or why I should avoid the corner. Another lady almost got in a fight with him, accusing him of Pitt Bull prejudice (lolz). He said Animal Control had already been called.

Anyways, I am the sort of person who will go directly to the corner I'm advised to avoid by a slightly incoherent stranger, because I am curious and concerned. Indeed there were two dogs there: a small, white, shy dog that was perhaps a Terrier of some kind, and a very large un-neutered male brindle Pit Bill, limping a bit, who was super sweet and friendly. Attacking other dogs? Huh. He limped up to me for an ear scratch, then returned to the gate to whine pitifully. It broke my heart.

I just could NOT leave those dogs there alone. Other people went by and said "That's a shame," then walked on, when I told them. But I waited for twenty minutes or so with them. One other woman stopped to make sure they were OK. Me and Sorcha greeted the van with the woman from animal control, watched her catch the dogs, and I helped lift the big Pitt Bull into his crate.

They have gone to the Humane Society. I hope they either return home or find nice new homes! They were sweet.


sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)

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