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A Woman On The Verge

thoughts and musings of my mind

Month

July 2012

Quinn

I was looking at my pillows today on my bed and realized I really missed my little Quinn.  She passed away three years ago, the day I brought Whiskey Jade home to live with us.  She had been very sick for a while by then so it wasn’t surprising, it was like she had been hanging on until I had a new little one to take care of.  I love Whiskey, he is a great little guy, but he isn’t Quinn.  Quinn was very cuddly and she loved sleeping on the pillows on my bed.  

I got Quinn the first April that I lived in Charlotte. She was my birthday present to myself to help me adjust to the ending of a fairly serious relationship and to celebrate nearly a year in a new place.  Quinn was the only kitten who was really active in the pen and I loved her colouring, it was so distinctive.  She was actually hanging upside down in the crate.  It was love at first sight, she was about 10 weeks old.  I brought her home and we bonded right away.  I still remember the first morning she woke me up hissing at the ceiling fan, which was always on to keep the room cool.  She was trying to jump up and catch it and she was a bit frustrated that she couldn’t reach it.  This was how life began with this little girl.  She loved climbing, one of her favorite places was on top of the doors. I did try to leash train her so that I could take her outside; she had NO interest in that.  She was decidedly an inside momma’s cat, she loved being near me, sleeping on me and purring to her heart’s content. I had to break my no sleeping with the pets rule because she would cry outside my door, it really didn’t take much for me to cave on that rule.  I still smile when I think about the fact that Quinn had to be in contact with me at all times at night, if I moved away from her she would just wiggle closer, she usually slept under the covers too.  I used to have a picture of her under the covers with her head on the pillow, just like a person.  I know during the day she was either sitting on the window sills or she was curled up on a pillow in my room.  My neighbors used to comment about how they thought my kitten, by this time Quinn was 12, had such lovely colouring.  Quinn had been with me through floods, hurricanes and two moves.  So it was hard on me when she got really sick, but I knew she wanted to be with me until the day she died.  But, until today I never really realized how much I missed her sleeping on my pillow.

Camping is a great memory, never a good reality

Let me tell you about camping.  I loved it when I was a kid. I loved going hiking up in the mountains, setting up the tent and cooking out in the open.  I still like those parts some, but the reality for me is I can not stand sleeping on the hard ground and being dirty much anymore.  The sad thing is I really came to realize this when I drove from Seattle to North Carolina and found that camping was just not so  pleasant.

Don’t get me wrong, I have great memories of camping all the way through my last year of college.  I remember the year people in my dorm went camping on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, we put up our tents on the sand for the weekend. It was great.  The sun was shining the whole time and it was just beautiful.  I didn’t mind that there was no running water, sand was in everything and that we had to pack in all that we brought with us.

I even remember week-long camping trips my dad and step-mom would take us on.  We would hike 5 or 10 miles into the Cascade Mountain back country and camp near a river or lake for the week.  I was ten, I thought it was great.  The woods were our playground. I didn’t bring books with me back then so I know whatever us kids were up to it was playing in the woods or swimming in the water.  Oh the water was wonderful, it was usually really cold because it was snow melt.  Although right now sitting in an 80 degree house a lake of snow melt water sounds glorious.

One of my favorite camping trips was with my friend Jeff.  We hiked up through this ridge full of fireweed, it felt like you walking through a Monet painting.  After coming down off the ridge we meandered up another trail to meet up with the Cascade Crest Trail for a short bit, before pitching our tents on a rock jutting out over a small glacial lake.  We spent four days up there and actually met some rather interesting people.  That was the penultimate camping trip for me.  The last one was when I was coming to North Carolina and I ended up giving up the tent for a hotel room about halfway through the trip because I just couldn’t stand sleeping on the hard cold ground anymore.  Now prefer cabins in the woods up above the bugs, snakes and cold ground. They must have beds, running water and screens on the windows, because I really hate the bugs out here in North Carolina.

Evernote, what I use for my lists

I am maker of lists and I am now an EverNote convert!  I never thought I would be so enamored by an electronic list application ever.  I had heard about it on a business networking website I belong to, and I was skeptical because I have tried other list software and just found them completely lacking. When I got my Kindle for my birthday EverNote was pre-loaded on it, so I figured I would try it out. First, I just started using it to create a basic shopping list on the Kindle,  but the application was quickly added to my PC and Laptop as well so I could keep the list updated and synced.  I think that is why I like it so much, the software syncs to all devices. I am able to take my kindle shopping with me so I can check off the items as I put them in my cart.

This weekend I went through some old, and quite faded, lists I had hanging on my bulletin board and added in my reading list and favorite authors.  Now when I am trying to find a book online at the library I can check my to-read list or my list of favorite authors to see if the library has picked up the new books.

I also find it useful for keeping some links that I need often but don’t really want to bookmark in my web browser.  I am just starting to get the hang of the Web Clipper extension that allows me to copy items which I like in my web browser and keep them in EverNote for future reference.  There is so much more to EverNote that I haven’t even explored yet.

http://evernote.com

Housekeeping

I was perusing a list of books recently and came across a title that went something like this: The Magical Recipe for Housekeeping. Now two things I can never see being in the same sentence are magical and housekeeping. Yes, the book was about housekeeping and how to make it, well for lack of a better term, Magical. Would I ever read this book? Probably not, I don’t like keeping house and I am not interested in finding ways to pretend to make it more fun.  I clean house for two reasons, the counters are dirty or I can’t sleep.  Don’t get me wrong I clean a lot, but never all at once.  I usually clean the bathroom once a week and the kitchen gets wiped down daily.  I have hardwood floors with area rugs so hoovering the rugs (well really I Dyson them) is always done on as needed basis.  I also swear I sweep every day.

So I was wondering really what the value of a book like that would be.  Then early this week I ran across a quote from Paulo Coelho on Twitter which made sense to me.

“I stopped to self-improve myself many years ago.I can live with my imperfections.”

I think this explains my aversion to such a book as this one.  I can live with my skills as a house keeper in my own home.  I am not trying to win any awards or even make it into a magazine, although if a magazine wanted to shoot in my house I would certainly let their stylists make it look all pretty, that is what they are there for isn’t it?

The lost art of Thank You Notes….

One of my friends posted on her Facebook wall a few days ago about how people seem to have lost their manners when it comes to responding to invites and sending thank you notes.  They seem to be a lost art, I am sure my grandmothers are both laughing in their graves because they know how much I hated writing them.  The irony is quite obvious trust me.

My grandmothers would both make me sit down and write my thank you notes as soon as I opened the gift.  I struggled with this because I didn’t really like my hand writing and I always wanted to say something wonderful, a budding Byron I am not. I did get a bit lazy when I got older about thanking my family, but my grandmother would always remind me that she didn’t know if her “gifts” got to me in North Carolina

My struggle now is always trying to find the right words because I still want to be this eloquent writer and just saying “Thank You I appreciate the gift you gave me” seems too easy.na unless I sent a thank you.  At least I was never tacky enough to write thank you on the back of a birthday check, I remember reading about that incident in a Dear Abby column. I have always been really good about sending thank you notes to non family members. I remember once I wrote a thank you to a teacher who let me observe her class last-minute one day, she was very shocked because no one had ever thanked her before.

I guess I get a little sad when I have spent hours, days even, finding the right gift to never have gotten a note thanking me for it.

I also see in some people I have known some sort of response about thank you notes I have given to people who have sent gifts, or done something for me, not from the person who I sent the card to, but to others around who saw the note.  They were either jealous or upset or something I haven’t quite put my finger on it.  It is almost like they are mad I didn’t thank them with a card too, even though they didn’t give me something.  I hope that makes sense.

But all this begs the question, is writing thank you notes and well frankly showing proper manners a lost art? Is a complete generation missing out on these things that were practically beaten into me as a child?  I see signs that parents are teaching their children these things, but is it enough?

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