So: calm

Barter Books in Alnwick Station, Northumberland looks like the kind of place I could lose myself for hours, days even. It is a secondhand bookshop that looks like so much more than just a bookstore. It’s a destination with wifi, a restaurant/cafe, fireplaces, and big comfy chairs. Heaven. If you’ve been, please tell me about it—I’d love to visit one day if it’s fabulous as it looks.

I found out about it today, thanks to my friend Clare when she posted this video to Facebook:

Encouraging messaging is very important to me because sometimes when things aren’t going right, all I need to hear is a few words to get my head on square and my courage in the right place. And when the going gets tough or I have to do things that I’m really not sure that I know how to do (or that I’m brave enough to try), I often think of the words on this poster:


Image from Barter Books

It was my avatar on Basecamp (a workflow system) at work for a good long while and seeing it every time I logged in worked wonders for me when the workload was extremely heavy and the pace was hectic. It reminded me that others were watching.

You’ve heard the phrase “fake it ’til you make it”. There’s a bit of that in here. By keeping calm and carrying on, you don’t have to say a thing. By just doing what needs to be done, you calm yourself down, you give yourself purpose. And when others see how you are reacting, they realize that maybe it’s ok to do what needs to be done too. But most of all, it gives you focus. And breathing room to think while you do.

I’m certainly not suggesting that you lie on your back in the face of adversity or challenge. You should know me well enough by now that I’m not passive. And I’m opinionated. But there’s something to be said for collecting your thoughts, pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, putting nose to the grindstone, and moving forward positively, verses wasting energy getting angry and not completing what needs to be done. There seems to be a lot of that in the world right now and maybe if we all just calmed down, things would be better.

Anyway, after yesterday’s beastly rant, even with the gratuitous bulldog photos*, I wrote this post to remind myself that my silly first world problems need to be addressed as such. And I am, as Fransi reminded me, I was overly tired and that made Monday worse. Still tired, but Tuesday was significantly better. But tonight is a “bye” from the DIY. We are focused on keeping Guinness calm so he can carry on tomorrow and feel a lot better than he has.

Guinness is a great, but seriously dopey patient

Guinness is a great, but seriously dopey patient. He is spending the evening bonding with the sofa and so are we.

Guinness is doing great. His fractured and abscessed tooth was pulled and the rest of his teeth were cleaned. I’m not poking in his mouth tonight, but I bet his smile is dazzling. His skin tag by his eye has been removed via cauterization so he may not have to wear the comfy Cone of Shame after all. Apparently a thorough pedicure was our free gift with purchase—definitely a bonus for a black dog with black nails. He’ll also have to eat soft food which as you might guess will be such a hardship. He ate an entire packet tonight no problem. I only hope we can ween Guinness back to his usual mostly dry stuff with a touch of wet!.

Godiva and George each reacted to Guinness’ leaving for the vet this morning in different ways. Godiva got mopey as expected and refused to hang out with me while I watered the veggies. When Guinness and Bruce were leaving for the vet, George tried to squeeze out the door, just like he did when I took Guinness to the vet last week. He stood at the window and watched Bruce’s truck roll out, but unlike Godiva, I think George just wanted to go wherever Guinness was going!

waiting for Guinness to return

waiting for Guinness to return

There were lots of sniffs all around when Guinness came home, especially Godiva. Both George and Godiva are extra tired tonight, as if they stayed up all day patrolling, waiting for Guinness’ return.


*Yes, Daisy was ours. That bulldog was the first dog Bruce and I had together and came into our lives when she was 8 weeks old. We lost her nearly 4 years ago and a month later we got Godiva.


So: beast

I noticed that I had 666 comments as of today. And today was exactly the kind of day where all of the best laid plans get cast to the wind. All efforts are futile. Obstacles abound. The devil’s in the details.



(It’s just Monday.)

The weekend’s not to blame, although it was one of ups and downs. Ups since the bamboo floors have gone in and we can start installing trim and putting things back where they go. Weeds are gone. Lots of veggies need to be harvested. Magazines got read, though not enough to make a dent in the pile saved up. Downs because everyone was a bit crabby yesterday since trim work takes time and we really wanted to be done and move on to errands. George is very scared of the air compressor and other loud sounds so he needed lots of attention.

I had very strange dreams last night and woke up a lot. Sleeping was uncomfortable since my hands, wrists and back were sore. And I woke up very grouchy and still tired. But I chugged some caffeine, pushed through, and before work, I did a bunch of laundry, moved more stuff back to where it goes, took care of a bill, washed dishes, harvested some veggies for our lunches, folded the pile of laundry, emptied the dishwasher, tried to get back a feeling of normalcy.

our sweet Daisy looking like some kind of alien-beast (photo by James Scott)

Our bulldog Daisy playing ball, but looking like some kind of alien-beast in this action shot (photo by James Scott)

It didn’t work.

We’re moving at work too so everywhere things are not where they should be. I’ve been trying to make peace with the chaos—and the irritation of not being able to find something quickly in either place where I spend most of my time. That is, if even know where it is.

While many things went right at work today, one did not. I’m still sitting at my desk, waiting for something that was very simple and straightforward to be completed and shipped out. (just trying to be productive while I sit here an drive everyone crazy with my “are we done yet?” comments). So unfortunately, the DIY plans for tonight turned into Bruce taking care of it himself and hauling more heavy stuff by his lonesome. The Urban Farm will also have to wait until tomorrow morning unless I get the headlamp out, but I think I’ll have other inside stuff to do.

Tomorrow is also Guinness’ tooth extraction. Not sure how George is going to take Guinness’ absence, but we know from past experience that Godiva is a bit of a wreck when Guinness disappears for an extended period of time. Bruce has tried to help her by taking each dog somewhere by themselves quite frequently (they are all big fans of the dry cleaner, Home Depot, and Lowes). But she knows when something’s up. Even George has been wondering why the big boy gets special cheese treats twice a day.

I could use some quality dog snuggling time. Some ball throwing. Even if they end up eating half of my dinner.

So I’m ready for this day to be done. I’m ready to put my head on the pillow and wake up with a clean slate. I’ll go back to being sweet tomorrow, I promise.

Daisy (photo by Mike Nowland)

Sweet Daisy (photo by Mike Nowland)