Category Archives: doing it wrong

The Couch of Lost Objects

These delicious sandwiches and fries are from Lardo in downtown Portland.

It would make sense to include a photo of the couch with this story but I don’t have one handy and don’t want to take one right now. It’s one of those couches that has a little motor and button so it extends into a lounger.

I love this couch. It’s comfy. It’s held up well.

But if I’m going to complain, if you drop anything into a couch crevice — like you have the remote on the armrest and it slides into the couch. Or maybe you’re doing a crossword puzzle and you set your clipboard down on the seat while you go make some tea and come back and the pencil has fallen into the crack — those things are lost.

This delicious sandwich is from Taylor Street Market in downtown Portland.

I was fiddling with my wedding ring. (I do this all the time knowing full well what a bad idea it is) and dropped it in the couch crack.

I had to completely extend the lounger and then crawl under the seat with a flashlight and dig deep into dark crevices, squishing my fingers in where they barely fit with dust bunnies and who knows what might be in there.

I did retrieve my ring.

But this process is super inconvenient when you drop the Roku control and you can’t do anything until you can crawl around on your stomach and find it again — all while you just wanted to relax for a half hour before you go to bed.

And every time I remind myself — don’t leave stuff on the couch where it can fall it. But then I forget and do it anyway.

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What Are They Doing Out There?


I’m moving the camera around trying to get a close up but maybe they monitor the environment and if it looks weird they lay low?

I’m going to leave the camera by the apple tree for a week and see if we get anything exciting.

Here’s a picture of the setup with a helpful arrow so you can see the entrance of the critters’ den. My Photoshop skills have atrophied — it took me forever to remember how to make an arrow and get it pointed in the right place.

On my way home from the match last week I saw an opossum scurrying along the street. It was in our neighborhood but not near our house. “Don’t be afraid, I’m your friend!” I shouted out the window while it rushed for cover.

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PTFC For Peace

I have always wanted to see a soccer match with our men’s and women’s teams play together.

Finally! My dream came true.

This match was a fundraiser for children in Ukraine. It was on a Wednesday night and I went back and forth about attending and decided not to.

Except when we were at the match on Saturday I changed my mind and planned to only go to the first half and then hop the bus home.

When Bob heard I planned to attend he wanted to go too so he met me downtown. I’m glad I didn’t leave early.

Tickets were free but a suggested $10 donation. Attendance was over 16,000. Lots of kids. I would say the women’s team fans outnumbered the men’s team fans. During the match they announced they’d raised over $400K but later I saw it was over $500k.

The ref was from Ukraine — first time in history I saw a ref get a standing ovation at the park. hehe.

The players looked like they were having so much fun. They were competitive but also goofing off. They rotated players about every 15 minutes to get everyone in there. (60 minute match). At the end all the players were on the field. Everyone wanted to score — no one helped the goalkeeper.

It was a really fun event. So happy we went.

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Apple Blossoms, Part 2

I still haven’t flipped my closet, partly because I haven’t felt like doing it but also I’ve been able to get away without it. I’m still wearing my warm stuff. Not complaining. I’d rather have a cool, rainy spring. Maybe this weekend.

I finished Sanditon which is a PBS show based on a partial Jane Austen manuscript. (Possible vague spoilers – but it’s a PBS romance based on Jane Austen, that’s 2/3rds of the story right there.)

I don’t don’t know how much manuscript there was. I’m sure this show has invented a lot since we just finished Season 2 (cliffhanger!) and there’s going to be another.

Also, I love it. It would be a fun experiment to see how long they could get away with coming up with new love interests season after season. I’m sure Charlotte has more sisters or cousins that could come in and there could be neighbor women or some device to have new romances all the time. But I love Charlotte so she’d always have to be in it.

I didn’t connect to Bridgerton in the first couple of episodes but I plan to go back and try again. It seems absurd that I wouldn’t love this show.

This week in the backyard we had zero visits from raccoons. It was all opossums and cats. We had an opossum with a heavy pouch a week or two ago so I’ve been keeping an eye on that but then this week we had an opossum and no heavy pouch. I need to read up on my opossum habits.

My plan is to move the camera out into the garden to see if I can gather more information. I am also thinking about buying a second camera — more coverage!

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Apple Blossoms, Part One

If I don’t get around to posting on the weekend don’t get to it all. I don’t know why I am still constantly surprised by my schedule.

I always start out Monday and Tuesday with so much energy and optimism. My work day is extra productive and when I get home I exercise and maybe get some chores done.

Wednesday I start drooping. It’s not that I have no time, it’s that I have no brain juice. I come home and sometimes rally to go for a short walk or take care of something but more often it’s sit down and read before dinner.

By the time I get on the bus on Thursdays, I am beat. Especially if anything extra has happened during the week like a soccer match or insomnia. This week was a soccer match but it was super fun and hopefully I will post about it later this weekend.

Then Friday is often running around doing errands and chores I don’t have time for on work days and trying to collect enough brain juice to work on writing or administrivia. (I am planning to buckle and get Part 2 of the forever project going. I will put the writing meter on the bottom of this post but it’s not completely accurate because I have some chapters done but out of order so I’m not organized yet.)

But then another good night of sleep and by Saturday and Sunday I’m feeling rested and up for doing stuff.

Then Monday we start all over again and by Wednesday I surprised by how droopy I’m getting. That’s just how it is right now.

Part 2, Project of Forever, To be updated more accurately soon.

1000 / 40000 words. 3% done!

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I am enjoying my flowers but I keep forgetting to take photos of them. I ran out there this morning. Sorry about the less than artful light.

I thought the snow on Monday was going to smush them but not at all.

One thing I forgot to mention about my urgent care visit was that we probably spent more time talking about how I was going to pay than we did in the examination.

This particular place does everything over the Internet so I had to create an account and then scroll through endless long “read this and click agree” things that had to do with paying. Then input information about how I would pay. Then understand that no matter what, I had to pay.

Do you go to the grocery store, load up your cart, and then think: but do I have to pay? Why do we treat people seeking medical care like this? Keep in mind that my face is blown up, my eyes swollen almost shut, and everything itches.

Of course then after all that the final screen wouldn’t complete to make the appointment. I tried to log in with a different browser and that wouldn’t work either. So then Bob and both searched for a phone number.

We finally find a phone number and the whole thing starts all over again with me having to agree to pay and also give insurance information and also give a credit card and also agree to pay.

By this time, the appointment that I made was 15 minutes away and part of the routine was that if we were more than 5 minutes late the appointment would be cancelled and guess what?

We still had to pay.

I was not confident we could get there in 15 minutes so we had to reschedule.

We got in the car and got over there and of course there were no other patients there. It was first thing in the morning. When I checked in? Yup — insurance, credit card, agree to pay, agree to pay.

It makes me feel terrible for people to don’t have many resources for health care.

I paid. I am marginally better but still look frightful especially with my glasses off.

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And Boy Was My Face Red

Bob read the weather forecast on Sunday night saying we could get a few inches of snow. We laughed. I woke up Monday morning and couldn’t believe it. It was a thrilling drive to the park-n-ride but so pretty. Long gone now. I’m not sure what set off the camera for this clip but I like the falling snow, especially in the background under the streetlight.

I thought I wrote about this before but can’t find it in the archive. Around the holidays I began having a mild rash on my face — around my mouth and eyes, and itchy hives on my neck.

In the last couple of years I have noticed my skin is more sensitive and every so often I have identified new products that gave me a little bit of itch. It always cleared up quickly.

I thought I’d identified the holiday problem, eliminated it and had no issues since.

Until this week. I used an old product I haven’t used in awhile. I don’t know what magical perfect storm transpired but I woke up Thursday with a rash and puffy eyes and it got worse as the day went on. When I woke up yesterday my eyes were almost swollen shut and my undereye bags are so puffy it looks dangerous.

Off we went to urgent care. I got some drugs and I’m trying to have a positive attitude but I woke up pretty much the same as yesterday and I’m uncomfortable and cranky. Sitting at the computer doesn’t feel great. Poo.

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Commute, Sleep, and the Birds

The commute is kicking my ass — do I complain about that every other post? I need to get over it.

I was going to flip my closet last weekend. Dig out the open toed shoes and warmer weather stuff and put the winter stuff in the back. Except I looked at the forecast for this week and decided to wait another week. I took the lining out of my raincoat – maybe I should put it back.

I have a meditation app and it includes guided sleep meditations. Do you call that a meditation? I feel like being guided to sleep is different but I don’t know what to call it.

I was completely resistant to the idea. I expected that I would be intent on listening to the app which would keep me awake.

As usual, I was wrong. I have used it a few times when I felt wound up but needed to get to sleep. I’ve only heard the end of a meditation once. One time, all I remember is her telling me to get comfortable and take a deep breath. Next, I was waking up and hours had gone by.

During the pandemic I regularly visited and became completely invested in the California condors on the condor cam so I was pretty excited to learn that the Yurok Tribe has a condor restoration project. More info and live cam here.

One more bird thing: the Cornell Lab Bird cams. I love the Great Horned Owl and the red tailed hawks.

I took my bird feeders down because of the rain but the blue jay pair came out for some peanuts and one of them drank from the bucket, too.

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Apex Magazine Kickstarter

These two raccoons come through almost every night and have a quick pit stop.

We also identified a new squirrel — definitely not fat squirrel. Must be a youngster because it practically flew through the yard, up on the fence, and then up the roof of the neighbor’s garage.

I still haven’t done anything in the garden. This is my latest start in at quite some time.

Great news! Apex Magazine is doing a Kickstarter to fund a paperback anthology of stories from 2021 including my story: Security Breach at Sugar Pine Suites.

Link to the Kickstarter and more info here

I inadvertently cut editors Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner out of the photo. I love that cover art and 48 stories. Lots of funding levels. Great project!

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A Few Quick Notes

Another crazy busy weekend culminating in a super busy day. I was gone all day but optimistically jotted down a list of 9 things I thought I could get done when I got home.

HAHAHAHAHA! Luckily I put bathe on the list because I am up for that one and then I am getting in my pajamas and parking on the couch until bed time.

I finally realized that my favorite old jeans are finished. I have been hardly ever wearing them so they would last longer but they are so old they are disintegrating on the hanger. I’m going to put them in the garden clothes pile but I bet they fall apart. Always a tragedy when your favorite clothes give up.

When I signed into my dashboard it said that my privacy policy has gotten about 8x as much traffic as any other part of my site. I’m not sure what that means. Probably people researching and getting ready to sue me because my policy is so half-assed. I don’t know how to collect and exploit data. I don’t how anything works.

I think I wrote about our microwave (we call it the science oven) from 40 years ago died and we got a new one. I don’t love the new one because it seems so hard to press the buttons and it has some quirks I haven’t gotten used to. But it has a rotating dish — we’ve never had that before and also it’s so much stronger — things heat faster. We already broke a plate.

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