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And Then There Were Three

Today we sadly had to put down my oldest dog, Sammy. We got him from the pound 12 years ago, and he’s been a welcoming face home everyday since. He was 16 this year and things were definitely becoming difficult for him. He developed really bad vertigo yesterday and could hardly stand up. Apparently this is something that can happen with older dogs, and occurs seasonally. The vet said he could possibly return to something close to normal in about a week, but he wasn’t eating and was barely mobile on his own before this anyway. We decided it was the right time and took him in this morning.

I will definitely miss him. I’m mostly sad I was so worried about him dying for so long that I never took him out to do anything. I feel like I didn’t do enough with him or for him. Growing up we weren’t allowed out to play unless my mom went with, and she was always tired after work, or had extra work to do, so we never got out just to go on walks. I think Sam was definitely happy with us but I still feel like he could’ve had more adventure. He’s been a reliable constant in my life for many years now and I will definitely miss him. I think I’ll probably miss the way his tail would wag in a circle the most. Whenever he was really excited his tail would just go completely around in circles like a propeller. I’m glad he’s finally at rest though and I think it was definitely his time.

The house feels really quiet without him. He had a little trouble staying the right temperature so he was always panting, and any time he wanted to get up and move there was always a bit of stumbling while he got his bearings. And you could always expect to find him laying in the middle of the floor. Without him here the house seems a little bit bigger and significantly quieter, and it’s something I’m not at all used to. He’s been a part of my life since I was 10. He used to sleep on my bed when we first brought him home. Me and a big black lab curled up on a little twin sized mattress. My life is going to be really weird without him.

Mostly I’m writing this to just say thanks to him for everything. Thanks for being my best friend, and for always being there when I needed you. You were mine, and I was yours. Always.


Movies And Books

I applied and interviewed for a really great job higher up in my company about 2 weeks ago, and I haven’t heard back yet. I talked to someone in customer service and they said it can take up to two weeks before you hear anything. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

I watched The Giver last night with my mom and a friend. It was really thought provoking and made me remember how much I’ve numbed myself to everything. The story centers around a boy in a “community” in which everyone has been raised to be exactly the same, and the government is always watching to make sure you follow the rules. It sounded very 1984 to me, but the movie did a really good job of conveying everything. I didn’t know we owned the book, but I’ve started reading it because I liked the concept so much. Everyone gets an assigned job to do in the community, and the main characters job is to be the Receiver of memory. He holds the entire civilizations memory in his mind so the rest of the community can live without fear or war or jealousy or any kind of emotion at all. The book is interesting so far but the movie starts out in black and white because they don’t even have color in this society. Meaning, they completely got rid of all the words for colors so that no one can have a preference/desire difference. It was such an interesting way to look at things, and they even showed the main character learning colors in the order they appear historically. Red is always the first color and society develops a word for, and blue is always last. As far as primary colors are concerned, of course.

But this black and white thing, this sameness, felt really similar to how I’ve been feeling lately. I’ve built my life so it’s mundane and safe. I go to work and come home and that’s it. I’d convinced myself it wasn’t safe to go out anywhere, and it’s become increasingly easier to do with the mass shootings we have on a daily basis. I’ve almost completely stopped reading and I haven’t learned a new word in ages. I kept my world very small, and let it get smaller and smaller every day because that was easiest. I don’t have conflicts, but I don’t have any romances or affection or anything interesting at all either. My conversations are always work related, they’re infrequent, and they’re always with coworkers. The number of friends I speak to on a daily basis has dwindled to 1. And I don’t even always talk to her!

Last night I even had a dream I was sleeping next to one of my best friends, and she put her arm around me. That was it. That was the entire dream. I “woke up” and she put her arm around me and I went back to sleep. Two nights ago I had a dream I had three dragons at my command and I single handedly fought through a bandit camp to rescue them!

My goal for the rest of the summer to get out of the house and GO somewhere at least 3 times a week. I’ll go to parks or on walks or on hikes, and I’ll bring my two littlest dogs so I don’t feel guilty about leaving them home, but I WILL get out and experience things. I’d also like to start reading again, but we’ll see how that goes.

for now, I have to shower and get read to start my day. I went on an hour and a half walk playing Pokemon Go this morning. It sounds nerdy but it’s honestly the best game I’ve ever played. You have to physically go places to get things/catch Pokemon, and so many other people play it you’re always surrounded by friendly people. I’ve been playing it since it came out on the 6th and it’s been so much fun. My friend and I spent all day at the park playing yesterday.


This year seems to have flown by. I work way too much and haven’t properly experienced any of it. I work 6 day weeks for the last 5 weeks, and I’m officially done doing that. It’s too stressful and there’s no pay off to it. Our team has been pushed into another department, again, so we have a new manager again. Making him the 4th manager this year. The other two leads and I all but rolled our eyes when we heard the news. There were many apologies for the current status of our stores, many promises for change. Things we’d all heard before but never brought into reality.

In much more exciting news I have decided to send my mom on a vacation. This last year has been very hard for her with her dad dying and her sisters turning against her over his estate. He didn’t leave a will but he had a wife, so everything has been very up in the air. The laws in Washington very obviously say that his widow gets everything because there wasn’t a will, but my moms sisters are contesting that at every turn. It’s been a very big big of hoopla. My mom has been very upset for a very long time. So, we surprised her last night with tickets to Hawaii! She and my sister are going to Kawai for a week. I don’t like traveling or heat, so I’m staying home with the dogs. My mom has been talking about putting a mortgage on the house and taking me and my sister to England for 2 weeks. Obviously I think that would be a very foolish idea, since she can barely afford our current circumstances, but my hope is this little vacation will help her depression a little.

When I told my sister about it naturally she wanted to go as well, so I’m sending both of them this Thursday. They’ll be gone a whole week, and to celebrate I’m also taking the week off, haha. I’ve got so much to do around the house and I never have time to do it. Plus Pride is this coming weekend, with the parade happening on Sunday. I’ve never been to the parade so this year I really wanna go. I also would really enjoy going in drag but I don’t have any makeup and have spent way too much money this year. I think I’ll just do some fun eye makeup and go in boy clothes. Everything is so expensive!

Extra Nonsense

Work has been crazy and boring at the same time. The manager that was in charge of my previous one and stepped in to fill  in for her has quit. My store is still the messy store, and my coworkers are basically untrained. They don’t come to work on time, don’t understand how to do their jobs or what their jobs really are, and they don’t trust me.

I’ve had so much free time at work lately that I applied to online school. Unfortunately my manager put in her notice the week after I was accepted, and now I’m working 6 day weeks in 2 different stores, and basically get paid to drive. I don’t really do anything in either store, I just get paid to have the door open essentially. And since its finally nice out I don’t plan on doing any homework at home. School work was honestly only going to be done at work because I have nothing to do all day. Home is for fun stuff, and I don’t plan on wasting it on school. So! I withdrew from this term the day before it started. I’ll get a full refund for tuition and can start up again at the end of the summer if I want.

With all the projects I’ve got going on in the garden, I’ve decided its time I finally get chickens. I feel like gardeners that keep chickens are a different kind of gardener. It makes them seem more advanced to me. Getting chickens will just be another step in attempting to be as off grid as one can be in the city. I’m really excited to get rain barrels in. This is also something I’ve been talking about forever and it’s so simple I wish I had just done it sooner. I don’t know how much of a difference in the water bill it will make, but I think it will keep the plants better watered and it’s more about making me feel good than anything. I will also add on another 6 barrels in the future, once I get everything setup a little bit more.

I’m spending most of my down time researching chicken coops. I literally spent an entire shift on pinterest a couple of days ago. The joy of having no customers and no manager. And no work to do, plus having been told that doing anything more than your job description is frowned upon.

My tiny house has been put on the back burner for the moment. I don’t have anywhere to build it, or anywhere to keep it, and there isn’t really a reason to move out of my mom’s house yet. It’s hard to say if she would like it if I moved out, but I think we’re both content with the way things are. Moving out now would be unnecessarily expensive, and I wouldn’t really gain anything by leaving. I’m still saving up for one of course, but its a lot easier to wait for something if you’re distracted with a smaller project.

So yeah, I’m trying to stay as busy as I can. This year I’m not entirely sure why but I’ve gotten really serious about projects. My garden will be completely transformed by the end of the summer, and it’ll be great. I don’t know what I’ll do next year. If I don’t build a tiny house then I might just go insane. The trouble is that I have a fair amount of energy when I get home, but no daylight left do really go DO anything. If I was off earlier in the day, or if I actually got proper days off, I could go adventuring. Chickens will be a nice adventure this year I think though.


OH!! And the most important thing! My favorite person/idol, Falaah came to my house today. I gave her a full tour of my garden and asked for her advice about chickens and the front yard, which is my least visited spot. She said she loves everything and I’ve got all the right plants. And that she was proud of me for all the work I’ve done and for “walking the talk”. Which is probably the nicest thing I’ve heard all year. I really enjoy her and I’m glad to have met her. I think if I didn’t have a garden of my own I would volunteer with her more. It’s just hard for me to justify spending a day off volunteering away from home when my dogs spend the entire week locked up. She’s the woman I was volunteering with at a community garden a couple of years ago. That summer of volunteering taught me a lot and I’m glad to have done it.

This year, with the bees gone, I decided to go all out in my garden. When I had them it was hard to properly weed because it was never completely safe for me to weed certain areas. Now I only have a couple of problem areas that are easily manageable once I’ve got nothing else to do. So, with  that said, I’ve decided to make a list of all the projects I’m currently working on. And post pictures.

  • Weed and wood chip the garden
    • Weeding 90% finished. Wood chips should be delivered this weekend.
  • Finish garden path
    • Now that the grass beneath it has finally died, I can dig down easily enough and make it level/not wobbly.
  • Install raised beds. This is tied with two other projects, so it looks really chaotic at the moment.
    • I’ve been talking about doing this for a couple of years and now that I’m making a decent amount of money I’ve got my own funds and can actually do it! I’m installing 5 cedar beds, 12″ deep, with room to add another 6″ on later. I’ve got all the lumber cut and just need a dry day to screw everything together!
    • This project also involves killing off the lawn and hauling in wood chips. I’ve hauled in three car fulls of free burlap sacks to make a nice barrier , and wood chips are on the way!
  • Haul in compost
    • After the beds are built I need to haul in compost to fill them. This isn’t something I’m technically working on at the moment, but I’m working toward it, so it kind of counts? I also have to put compost on all of my existing raised beds, which is why this gets its own bullet.
    • After that I just have the task of filling the beds with plants!
  • Rainwater Irrigation system.
    • I bought six 55 gallon drums from a guy who lives up the road from me, and have attached all of them together with PVC pipe. I also dug up part of the old sprinkler system and cannibalized it. Pipes now run all over the garden, one for the end of each of the 5 beds.
    • Once the garden beds are full of compost I can properly finish the system and attach drip hoses to the ends of the pipes.
    • The only thing left to do to this project right now is attach a battery powered marine pump that will keep the line pressurized. Since the beds will be watered with drip irrigation, I don’t need a very strong pump.
  • Lay brick.
    • In order to install the rain barrels on my side yard, I had to rip up all of the brick I had put over there. I never bothered to make it level, cause I didn’t see the point at the time. Plus dirt moves on its own anyway, so having it level a couple of years ago wouldn’t have mattered much now. Anyway, I have about 40 sq feet worth of chimney bricks piled up in the lawn that now need to go back on the side of the house to keep the weeds down.
    • Thank fully this ground is already leveled, so the hard part is done!

And now for a photo album!

I may have mentioned on here a couple of times how much I hated my job, and specifically my manager. She’s literally the worst manager I’ve ever had. She was stealing from the company, never came to work, didn’t cover breaks, and flat out lied to all of the staff on numerous occasions. I was honestly days away from quitting. I was going to call the anonymous phone line companies have to alert them to serious issues on Tuesday. But on Monday I got a wonderful call from my new manager. She was my managers manager, but my manager was let go on Monday. Not only that, I was promoted to the Lead position for another store. AND I was given a raise. A 21% raise actually.

Today was my first day as a Lead. I almost made someone cry. It was our first day properly working together and I told her that this store is the “dirty store” of the company and we really need to work on cleaning it up, because that’s been the number one complaint from upper management. The store is honestly filthy. The floor is never swept, there’s dust on all of the shelves, and the back room has food crumbs all over the floor and desks. She said she didn’t think she needed to clean because she has to clean when she gets home and that’s not what she’s paid to do here. I was like???? cleaning the store on a day to day basis is literally in your job description??? I apologized for phrasing things so terribly and we agreed to work on things.

The store is honestly a train wreck though. Neither of the sales associates were trained properly, and both of them have been there longer than me. I was truly amazed at what all I had to train this girl on today. She has no initiative to learn things for herself and never bothered to ask for any kind of anything. I was in repair-mode from the second I walked in the door. Thankfully I’m meeting with my new manager tomorrow and I can address all of this with her.

Anyway, as negative as this post has been I’m actually really really excited to start work over in this store because I’m going to have so much free time to work on projects. And the pay is fantastic. $16 an hour! A whole dollar above living wage! I’ll actually be able to survive!