Saturday Strings

Haven’t mentioned a few things (skunk, arm, Fitbit) in a while. Being egocentric, I thought I would today.

  1. Oh, the skunk. She (my wife is certain it’s a female) has gained the upper hand on we puny humans. She thumps the board aside (I keep it there so I know she’s coming and going) and does her business.
  2. Last night, however, came turmoil under the house. Thump, thump, at first, rousing me from my television viewing. My wife had retired to bed. The cats were slumbering in preparation for their three A.M. rounds. I was watching “The Expanse” (the UN has just declared war on Mars and the Roci is heading to Io). The thump was singular and distant at first, causing me a “WTF, did-I-really-hear-something” pause. The show was stopped and I listened, counting cats (two were with me) when I did. Yep, the thumps repeated, more numerous and louder. Pushing the cat off my lap (he was listening, too), I leaped up, checked on the third cat (Papi, sleeping in the living room), and traced the sound. Finding its general area, I began thumping around in retaliation.
  3. The thumping underfoot increased in volume and frequency. My wife called, “Are you hearing this, too?” Uh, yeah. The sounds from beneath gravitated toward the front. Grabbing the flashlight, I turned on the front lights and headed outside.
  4. I arrived just in time to see the skunk exit the crawl space and bolt down the sidewalk, down the driveway, and across the street. Its perfume filled the air.
  5. Returning inside, I learned, we’ve been gassed. I reported my findings to my wife. The smell was mostly gone this morning, probably aided when the furnace kicked on and circulated the air. (The garage, though…you can spoon it out like Jello in there.) (Skunk Jello; that’s a thought.) As to what happened…it’s another of nature’s mysteries. I put the board back up this morning.
  6. My broken arm’s recovery continues. Rotation, flexibility, strength, and dexterity improves by day. I can now use ten pound weights to restore my arm and shoulder strength. I try twelves, but my wrist barks with sharp pains, so I cease. It’ll come. Persistence and perseverance. Raising my arm over my head (to put on a shirt, for example) taxes my shoulder. Yeah, working on it.
  7. Can’t do any pushups or chair-dips with my arm/wrist, though. Well, I can do modified pushups, where I’m on my knees. I can plank, and that’s up to three minutes a night.
  8. Meanwhile, Fitbit has congratulated me on hitting my distance goals every day for seventy-eight continuous days. My daily average is twelve miles a day. Although that pleases me, it comes with caveats. I only seriously walk outside three or four days a week, heading up the hills around my house, typically for one to three miles. Most of my daily stuff is derived from running around the house or jogging in place. I have several routes in the house, doing figure eights around the dining and living rooms. I’d like to walk outside more, but darkness comes early, and it’s wet and chilly, and I’m essentially a cream puff. I’ve considered walking in the morning or early afternoon, but that interferes with writing and housework. Priorities, don’t you know.

That’s all that’s fit to print. The cats (Boo, Tucker, and Papi) are all healthy and doing well. Tucker has said no to going outside, which is fine by me. Boo likes to go out in the morning and evening to do his business, but those turns are getting shorter quick. He resorted to the litter box last night. (Um, yea?) Papi, though, is a youngblood, and must roam the night. As its cold, his outside visits are getting shorter, but then, he’s bored, and wants to go out (or have me stay up and play with him, which ain’t gonna happen). Can’t wait till he matures enough to stay inside more.

Hope your life is going well. Take care.

Cheers

The Halloween Puzzle

We finally completed our Halloween puzzle. Yes, it’s late.

We started off strong, finding the edges and putting it together. Then, life intervened. We wanted to work on the puzzle, but we had so many other things drawing our attention. That probably sounds strange during the COVID-19 Lockdown and Social-distancing Era (henceforth called CLASE). I’m a writer, though, and focused on that. Then there was exercising, fall yardwork, and cleaning house. And the NFL football season began. My wife was busy with exercise and dance classes via zoom, reading, socializing, and making us wonderful soups. (She’s making two more this weekend. Can’t wait.)

So other things occupied our time. But I’d go by it and think, “I should be able to get that area done easily enough.” Sure. Right.

There are thirteen cats. I started by hunting for cat pieces. As the cats were by the pumpkin patch — and the pumpkins are bright orange and easily spotting — I started hunting for and selecting those pieces. I would notice house pieces, sky, etc., and set those aside in other piles, mostly so they were out of my way.

Then, you know how it is with a puzzle. One area gets almost finished, but where the heck is that last piece? Meanwhile, as you search for missing last pieces, other things seem to magically come together.

The next thing I knew, the puzzle had sucked me in.

It was a lot of fun, and a good diversion, if that’s what you want.

Floof off

Floof off (floofinition) – 1. A floofdiom which means to engage in idle activity, or to waste time.

In use: “For animals, one of the joys of being accepted as a housepet is that it frees them to floof off by sleeping, playing, and pretend wrestling.”

2. A rude expression employed by animals to tell another to leave them alone or go away.

In use: “Henry was a solitary cat with solitary ways and didn’t hesitate to tell other animals to floof off with a swat, snarl, and hiss.”

Pet Shop Floofs

Pet Shop Floofs (floofinition) – Flooflish floof pop (floop) duo formed in 1981, known for their synth sound and dance music.

In use: “Inspired by T.S. Floofiot’s poem, “The Waste Floof”, “West End Floofs” is one of the Pet Shop Floofs’ best known songs.”

Saturday’s Theme Music

After the morning’s dream review, Steve Winwood’s 1986 hit, “Higher Love”, punched into my mental stream. The album it was on, Back in the High Life, was a favorite. I frequently played it as part of my life activities. Although “Roll with It” is my favorite Winwood solo song, “Higher Love” is up there on the list, so I thought, why not? Works well for today.

Hope you enjoy it. Have a good one, wherever you are, and wear a mask, okay?

An Exasperating Mask & Car Dream

Last night’s dreams wove and forth, like a fabric was being made, for large parts. Elements included a new, expensive sports car, someone misconstruing what was going on, and a first for me: wearing masks.

I dream about having new and expensive, exotic sports cars often. In this instance, the car was glossy black. Too precious to have anything like a roof, it featured two separate little seating positions with their own windshields.

While I was taking possession of that, driving around, admiring it and being admired, a parallel story went on. I lived in a fancy, wealthy neighborhood. One neighbor was a woman who was the classic helicopter mother. Doing everything with her two sons, she constantly hovered around them.

Well, the boys admired my car. I let them sit in it. She thought I was trying to take her sons. Dream parts were spent in me trying to explain to her what was going on, and her trying to avoid me because I was after her sons. Truly exasperating for a dream experience.

Exasperation was a dream theme. Next, I’ve parked the car and have arrived at this large gathering of people. We’re outside. Some friends are there, but most are strangers. My friends were telling people that I’m a writer, and then described my writing in glowing statements. This embarrassed me. It reached a point that I wouldn’t answer my friends when they asked what I was working on, but turned my back on them.

They stayed with me, though. We were all now wearing masks as we walked around, and I was trying to social distance, and telling others to do the same. Young people often wouldn’t wear a mask or distance, mocking me when I called them out on it. One male teenager, a redhead, was particularly exasperating, stupidly smirking when I told him to put a mask on and step back. He then made it a point, like a joke, to try to sneak up on me. He finally went away.

We had to go up to another level. I took the stairs to that. Halfway up, I discovered arrows pointing in the opposite direction. Then I found the way blocked with tape. I realized that they apparently had set the stairs up to be one way, but they’d only done this from the top. And they’d made no apparent provisions for people who needed to go up instead of down.

Yes, exasperating. Milling among people, my friends still behind me, talking about my writing, I abruptly realized that I wasn’t wearing my mask. Horrified, I pulled it out and put it on. Then I glanced around, checking to see if anyone had noticed.

No one had noticed, and I continued milling. Then, again, my mask was off. How did this keep happening? I wondered. I didn’t remember taking it off. My mask was in my pocket again. I put it on with a warning to myself to be more vigilant.

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