Posted in Random

Summer is Almost Here!

The school year is winding down, and the mood around the townhouse is definitely lighter. Summer brings endless possibilities for projects. I have been really slow in finishing painting the kitchen cabinets. I think I did something wrong with the first set of cabinets I painted because the paint isn’t drying as hard as I expected. I was under the impression that the paint would resist scratches, but the paint I put on so far scratches off if you bump it with your fingernails. I suspect that I should have primed it differently- either more sanding, or a different primer. So one of the first things on my to-do list is to straighten out the cabinets. Then I can go ahead and paint the rest of the kitchen. #diywoes

I have also been working on my second book. I published my first book on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. I really enjoyed the process. The only issue I have had is that I don’t know anything about marketing and I don’t have a very big social media presence. So I need to spend a little bit of time this summer doing some research into marketing. #selfpublishingproblems #justwanttodrinkcoffeeandwrite

But for now… I have to get through finals. Time is just crawling by, but I take a little joy in the fact that I can now count the remaining school days on my fingers alone- no need to call in my Aggie calculator by using my toes. (shameless Texas A&M Aggie joke)

Stay tuned for more….

#countingthedays #readyforsummer

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Posted in Holidays, Mother's Day, puppies, quilt

Happy Mother’s Day

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers of two legged kids and furry kids out there. Mother’s Day is always a little bittersweet for me. I come from a long line of great mothers. My mom is probably the greatest mom in the history of moms, though I try not to brag too much because I don’t want to make everybody else feel bad about their moms. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to test out my mothering abilities on human kids- I have furry children. It puts me in a little bit of a tight spot. People with furry children understand that we baby our animals and spend almost as much time caring for them as many people do with their real kids. When they were tiny, I got up every 2 or 3 hours to take them outside so that I wouldn’t wake up to a bathroom floor covered in poop. When they had any kind of illness or tummy issue, I would worry about it and take them to the vet. My dogs and cats all live inside. So I bathe the dogs regularly and trim their nails. In the winter, I put sweaters on them when we go outside (they have short hair and get cold easily). I’m constantly on the lookout for new toys that will hold their attention and let them have fun.

People who don’t have pets, or who don’t care for them like kids, don’t really understand. Some of them get downright upset at the mention of “dog moms” or “fur babies.” Do we ‘dog parents’ understand that having a dog is not the same as having a kid? Of course. Does it make us care less about our animals? Not at all. Just because we have ‘fur babies’ doesn’t mean that we don’t want kids. It doesn’t mean that we chose to never have kids either.

The problem with having kids as I see it is that there is never a right time. When I was fresh out of high school and in college, I had a long-term boyfriend, but it never turned into a marriage. Even if it had, the idea of having kids was a little scary because I knew at that point that I couldn’t care for a child financially. It’s hard to give a kid everything they need to survive when you don’t have a steady job yet.

When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I didn’t think it was a good idea to have kids yet because I was going to grad school. Again, I didn’t have enough of an income to take care of children, and my boyfriend didn’t make enough money to support us alone much less us + a kid.

After I finished grad school and started working as an engineer, I had the money. What I didn’t have was time. I was working 9-10 hour days and spending about 3 hours each day in a car. I didn’t want to have a baby that I never got to see.

After a few years working as an engineer, I really wanted a baby. I was in a long-term relationship with someone who was trying to get me to marry him. The problem was that he was abusive. The only reason I stayed in the relationship for as long as I did was that I didn’t know how to get out of it without him killing me. I didn’t want to have kids with him because I didn’t want my son or daughter thinking it was okay for daddies to treat mommies the way he treated me.

Now here I am. I am technically still young enough to have kids- though not for much longer. I no longer work as an engineer. After the collapse of the oil and gas market I lost my job and became a high school teacher instead. I really like my job as a teacher and can’t see myself going back to the 9-5 corporate scene any time soon. I don’t make as much as I did as an engineer, but I have a lot more time. I think I would make a really good mother- it is in my blood, after all. At the moment though, I don’t want to be in a relationship- which makes it pretty hard to get pregnant the conventional way. I could adopt, but I am not convinced that any adoption agency would choose me over a two-parent household. From what I understand, the Texas legislature was talking about passing legislation making it harder for single people to adopt anyway.

I love my dogs like children because realistically, they may be the only children I ever have.

So today, on Mother’s Day, my fur-babies and I celebrated with my mother. I made her a quilt, because, well, hello. Quilts are awesome. As soon as she sat down on the couch to try it out, my puppies volunteered to help her test it.

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I figure that if my puppies could pick out a Mother’s Day present for me, it would probably be a big giant puppy treat or a bone- that they would then eat. So I got myself flowers instead. I think maybe next Mother’s Day I should get myself a sailboat…

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Posted in Galveston, hurricane season, storms, Uncategorized

Hurricane Season at the Cottage

Hurricane Season is one of my favorite times of the year. There. I said it. I’m not even really ashamed of saying it. My townhouse isn’t close enough to the coast to be in an evacuation zone, but it is close enough to be impacted if a storm should make landfall. This time of year always makes me take a look at my own readiness to survive without power. There’s a primal satisfaction in being prepared to survive a disaster. In a world dominated by convenience, having to disconnect from all of the modern conveniences and live like people did in ages past is both humbling and edifying at the same time.

Last year, I made my Algebra 2 students do a hurricane project. I had them calculate how much food they would need for a family of four for a month without power. I even had them make small survival kits that would fit in an Altoid tin.

This year, we are at a different spot in the curriculum, and a full-blown hurricane project just didn’t fit into the calendar, but I am still thinking about it anyway.

As far as my own readiness is concerned, I’m a little better off this year than I was last in year in terms of emergency supplies. I have enough food for the puppies and kitties for several weeks. Hurricane Season officially starts in a month, so over the next few weeks, I need to re-evaluate what food supplies I have for myself. I also need to make sure I have emergency repair supplies for the townhouse- like tarps and a few pieces of lumber for make-shift repairs. It’s kind of exciting.

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Random storm cloud from an afternoon storm in Galveston

Wherever you are, I wish you a safe and well-prepared hurricane season this year.