#AtoZChallenge — Flood

This post is part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, where I am challenging myself to reflect on other A to Z posts that I come across. 

The flood anniversary, one year on

The flood anniversary, one year on
— Read on boneandsilver.com/2018/04/07/the-flood-anniversary-one-year-on/

It’s kind of funny that I saw this today (I mean floods are no laughing matter, but you know, a coincidence) because it’s pouring in Northern California today thanks to the Pineapple Express.

Which apparently gets its name for being a warm, wet stream of weather coming at us from the tropics/Hawaii. It mostly seems to be hitting Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties in the north bay and along the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco.

There are three ways to get our place from town. Green Valley Rd floods annually, last year they got fish in the vineyards across the road it was so bad, so I’m not surprised that’s already the worst. The road that we’re on crosses a stream, and that’s gotten deep enough between us and the bridge that I can’t see the middle lines anymore. There’s one other road, and it’s starting to get covered. Still possible, and it’s not supposed to rain hard again until 10pm so we’ve ventured out to our friend’s moving away party. Maybe things will be a little down by then, or at least not any worse.

However! On the off chance that we are rained out of our house, we made sure the cats have enough food and water just in case, and we can probably crash at our friend’s place. The house itself will be fine, it’s on really high ground relative to the road, which in turn is higher by our place than where it’s flooded. So that’s good!

Other areas in Northern California that were affected by the wildfires in October have all been shores up in anticipation of winter flooding. Better late than never, I guess? (Not really.) But they really have good monitoring right now, just in case of rampant mudslides, so that’s good too.



via Photo Challenge: Friend


Since this is a writing blog, the first thing I have to say about my best and most cuddly friends is that they do not help me write.

In fact, they do everything in their power to keep me from writing. They walk between me and my screen — often directly on the keyboard, making their own contributions to my stories. They knock things over, like the potted plant that no longer lives on top of the fireplace. They meow and fuss because they need food, water, the litter box to be scooped, back scratches, head scratches, ear rubs, chin rubs, cuddles, reassurance, help catching a bug, the window open so they can listen to something…

And that’s not even counting the times they need to be removed from the kitchen counters or, for some reason, the bathroom sink. They can be brats and/or weirdos sometimes… but then again, so can I. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

The Healing Power of Cat PurrsFor one thing, half of my exercise consists of chasing Louie and Noodle off of the no-kitty areas or getting up to give Frankie food kisses while she eats. (Not that I’ll admit to having a favorite or anything. Frankie is just a really well-trained cat!)

For another, few things are more calming than a cat sprawling on top of you and starting to purr. This literally has therapeutic affects, and has been known to lower both stress and blood pressure.

These little creatures are some of the best friends I have ever had. Frankie, our first cat (far right in the picture), stole my heart away when she was two months old. I was working part time from home back then, and she was napping on my chest while I tried to type with my laptop propped up on my bent knees. Then she woke up, crawled a little higher, and started licking my face with her rough little tongue as if to say, “Hi Mommy. I love you.” I haven’t begrudged her my heart for the past two years, but I do wish she would stop yelling to remind me all the time.

Louie, full name Lucifer (far left in the picture, and yes, these are all female cats), is more attached to my partner, but she appreciates the fact that I put out the food and water for her. When one of us is busy, the other is Louie’s personal distracter — with cat toys, empty boxes, pieces of tissue paper or ribbon, anything that works basically. She thinks she’s queen of the house and she’s a handful. But she’s also got the thickest, softest, silkiest hair, and she’ll sit contentedly in your arms, looking around at everything with great interest, for quite a while before squirming to be let down. When we have company over she is the most social of the three. She totally hams it up for extra attention and pets, and as much as she can be a pain in the butt at times she can also get me laughing like none other. For example, when first meeting my grandpa, she tried to stick her face up his pant leg. What a weirdo. ❤️

The third is Noodle (the little black munchkin in the middle). She loves headscratches above all other kinds of petting and will actively chase my  hand when I try to stop. Where Louie hams it up and Frankie hangs out under the bed when guests come over, Noodle is somewhere in the middle. She’s got a play style like Frankie’s, but Louie’s energy level. Most importantly she always comes up on the bed to sleep with us, or at least comes up to snuggle and purr with us in the morning. 

These three are always there for us. At the same time we are wholly responsible for them. Some days I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t rub my cheek on their warm fur and just breathe in just to stay grounded. It’s the best gift I could ever ask for from any friend. 

QWERTY — Or, why technology frustrates me

When you have pets, it adds a new element to basic computer care: keeping hair out of your keyboard.
So when vowels and certain consonants started msesl (for example, that was supposed to be “mysteriously” and I’ve now switched over to typing on my phone) dropping out of what I was trying to type, I figured I had just been getting lax. But alas and long story short, taking it to the Apple Store to get vacuumed out didn’t solve the problem. There’s a pretty solid chance I’m going to have to drop a couple hundred dollars on a replacement keyboard for my laptop, or at least a few dozen on a desktop keyboard that I can just plug into it.

Notice how there’s no way for pet hair to get in there.
The latter isn’t a great long term solution but ahhhhhh, my NaNoWriMo planning is suffering because of all this! I was doing my outline in an online mapping thing that I can’t use or even view from my phone, and although I do have a screencap that I’ve saved to my phone it’s just not going well. And I had been on such a roll, too.
Mercury isn’t in retrograde just now, so I can blame neither this nor my car deciding not to start again on that particular portion of the heavens. This is also an intermittent problem, to the tune of umpteen calls from the mechanic saying they can’t figure out what the problem is because the car worked as soon as they tried it. Sigh.
There is a slight chance now that I will spontaneously do something else for NaNo. Over the weekend I started noodling around with an old story that I’ve never actually written down before but have pretty much all planned out. It’s up to 1620 words now. I’ve been typing it as I am typing this, in Evernote on my phone and then copy pasting into wherever I want it to live on my computer from there. Thank goodness the command, C, V, and X keys still work — the only ones that seem to have a problem are RTYUIOP and, once and very briefly, B.
… Just for the record, the Genius Bar guy said they did get a lot of cat hair out of the keyboard, so maybe that originally was part of the problem.

Sunday Gratitudes #36

“In particular for some more introverted people, the practice of gratitude can improve self-worth in some. Often when we take on a label like introvert or shy, it can cause us to feel less about ourselves. But research shows gratitude reduces social comparisons that might cause us to feel like we are not enough.” (x)

What have you felt grateful for this week?

I’m grateful for…


🏆 – Dating the cutest patoot.

🏆 – New cat toys. Both of them have been playing with them, and Frankie almost never condescends to play with toys (while we’re around to watch). She was so pleased that she loafed next to me on the couch all night.

🏆 – Getting Frankie-loaf couch snuggles two nights in a row!

🏆 – Our friend Annie’s cat, Nitro, liking the toys she got him while she was up here visiting us.

🏆 – Sunshine Coffee Roasters.

🏆 – Stranger things. It’s so captivating! Although now that we’ve finished it, I am sad. I hope Netflix comes out with more soon.

🏆 – Caffeine. I felt like a zombie all morning at work until I made a thermos of tea. Didn’t even need to add honey.

🏆 – Raspberry lemonade. First my partner bought a bottle of it at the store, and since then I’ve just kept refilling it using my stash of Crystal Light packets of the same flavor. The latter is not as delicious, but it does help us resist the urge to buy more soda.

🏆 – Getting permission for a workday at the county fair! Woo, pouring cider!

🏆 – The press release I sent out actually getting posted somewhere! That’s a first for me. Also, bloggers are a lot easier to talk into doing that than more traditional media outlets.

🏆 – Delicious pasta sauce.

🏆 – Having Friday off (because I’m working at the fair on Saturday)!

🏆 – Whole grain naan sent from my old workplace. I miss those guys. I’m really glad I had the experience of working there for two years — it was good preparation for the small business start-up world, and the food and beverage industry.

🏆 – Being able to take pills. I needed the Advil to banish my headache.

🏆 – Getting so many things done on my day off!

🏆 – Clean litter boxes. Like, soap clean.

🏆 – Costco! Lol, we hadn’t been to Costco in a long time. And it was during the samples hours.

🏆 – Cotton candy!

🏆 – Going to the Mendocino County Fair & Apple Show. Pouring cider was fun, we ate a large curly fries that I swear was bigger than my head, and my partner won six goldfish. So… now we have six goldfish and two cats. Let the adventures begin.

🏆 – My partner volunteered to help pour at the California Cider Competition table and was not only super helpful, but really good at it! There is a future tasting room staff member/employee of the month if I ever saw one. (Now all we need is to get that tasting room built.)

🏆 – How happy my partner is about the fish. It’s pretty adorable.

🏆 – The way we won those fish. Technically we only earned won or two, because regardless of ability to aim that game was hard. Then the guy got so exasperated that we were still there and hadn’t won more fish yet that he just have us another four. (It had been a long, hot day. He’d spent all of it in a booth surrounded and occasionally being hit by pingpong balls. He was pretty done. It was great.)

🏆 – How many things I had to be grateful for this week!

Sunday Gratitudes #27

“Gratitude is the foundation of happiness. It’s not about being indebted or beholden to anyone. It’s about being aware of the good in our lives, in others, in the world around us. By feeling and expressing gratitude for what you have in your life you are more mindful of your connections with others, you’re more aware of your thoughts, words and actions to yourself and those around you, and you are able to recognise and savour the good in your life, however insignificant those moments may appear. All of which has been found by countless studies to have a significant positive impact on your wellbeing and happiness.” (x)

I’m grateful for…

🎨 – Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

🎨 – Payday!

🎨 – Having a place to move into at last! And in the meantime, having a nice sleeping bag and camping pads to be reasonably comfortable on.

🎨 – How amazing our new place is. High ceilings, glass in all the doors (even the door to the bedroom) so there’s a lot of natural light, an amazing outdoor space where we can grow some of our own food… It’s a duplex so we have one shared wall with our landlord, but that should be fine.

🎨 – The kittens getting along enough to be together all the time, with or without supervision. 

2016-07-15 21.24.24
They have such different personalities, it’s kind of amazing.

🎨 – Being able to explore our new town and the stretch of area between this new place and my office.

🎨 – Having this amazing place to work from home in.

🎨 – Feeling so light and airy and inspired!

🎨 – How nice and cool it is inside the house, even though it’s a really hot day. It’s well shaded by the surrounding trees. (Some of which are Gravenstein apple trees with ripening fruit!)

🎨 – Finding the best china cabinet after less than a week of haphazardly browsing antique stores. The one we got (at our favorite antique store, like seriously) was only $400 and it came with a built-in light! We really needed one because all the kitchen shelves are completely open and it’s a kitty paradise… Just a recipe for eating a lot of cat hair if we were to keep our dishes down there, heh.

What have you felt grateful for this week?

A to Z Challenge #11 — Kitten

Growing up, I had hamsters and fish. The hamsters (they were called “teddy bear” hamsters) kept getting out of their cages, and consistently hid either under the couch in the living room or under my parents’ bed all the way upstairs. The fish were as much my mom’s responsibility as ours, though that changed not long after the time she was cleaning the tank out and our algae-eater flipped out of the water and smacked her on the lips.

None of this prepared me for having a kitten.

2015-07-30 12.36.59We adopted her from a local animal shelter. They were really great about socializing their kittens there. Each kennel had a pair of kittens or one older cat, and there were two enclosed areas off to the side, each with a bench for human visitors, a couple kitty towers, and a large litter box. My partner went there first while I was at work, and texted her approval and about this little two month old calico tortie baby the shelter had dubbed “Peaches” who had rolled over for her and wanted to snuggle immediately. I clocked out a little early the next day so I could be there before it closed — and we took her home that same day.

Continue reading “A to Z Challenge #11 — Kitten”

Sunday Gratitudes #6

I’m grateful for…

🌿 – The afternoon the sky looked like this and I got a great photo through the windshield (passenger side): 

2016-02-16 17.15.15

🌿 – The responsible adult/non-filthy human being feeling I get from taking out the trash and recycling.

🌿 – Getting interviews!

🌿 – Getting my partner’s help spicing up my cover letters, to which I attribute getting said interviews.

🌿 – ACCEPTING A JOB OFFER, and the fact that as soon as I broke down and asked my parents for a loan it became a much less urgent need, like, three days later. #MillennialVictories

🌿 – Nice phone conversations with my parents and grandparents.

🌿 – Dating an archaeologist/anthropologist major. My boo is the best help with world building, for serious. ❤

🌿 – The really cute, 33 second cat video I took of F. licking her tummy. She’s such a baby.


What have you felt grateful for this week?

Sunday Gratitudes #3

I’m grateful for…

🐾 – Getting more job applications sent in and more blog posts written and scheduled.

🐾 – Being nominated for a Liebster Award! That is good stuff for attracting new followers. I found several new and awesome blogs to follow through the post that nominated me.

🐾 – B. being a healthy, alert, and energetic dog again!

🐾 – Pasta with a goat cheese butter sauce. Amazing home-made dinner choice. Continue reading “Sunday Gratitudes #3”