All posts by Harmoniouscrow

First winter snow

Happy snow dogs, lemme tell ya!

Treats, please!

Day … whatever of Life Without Facebook and I don’t miss it at all :)

Finally the snow has come for the winter and hopefully more to come – my dogs were BORN for this, they LOVE it!

DSCN1206

Even Gina sheds her normally stoic exterior and becomes a nutcase in the snow!

Gina doing zoomies

A little quiet around here with husband away, but we’re used to it. It’s only really difficult at night – but the dogs like the extra space on the bed! :)

Stay frosty!

Today is the day, and why I can’t give up cheese.

As I wait for the US to “come online” I count down the minutes until my Facebook account disappears forever.

Not discontinued, but actually gone. Deleted. All trace of me removed. I feel a bit weird, but also good. Had a strange dream last night about it – cutting a line, flying out into a grey/black world like a kite let go. I could see lights down below, but I was… free? Alone, but free. I think I had wings, but I don’t remember. I looked down, not up.

Today’s the day.

 

I tried to give up dairy too, as I am a vegetarian (lacto-ovo… sparingly) and I know what goes down in milking sheds/factories.

But then there was macaroni cheese. Linguine pasta with creamy alfredo sauce and portobello mushrooms. Chocolate milk. Ice cream. Whipped cream on apple pie. I know it’s wrong. So very wrong.

I tried soy milk.. it was ok – but tasted weird after a while. I tried almond milk – didn’t like that at all. Even tried rice milk (nearly gagged) just so I could say I had.  I’m not a vegan – I wish I had the discipline, money, time to be. But I am still a vegetarian.  Some days are harder than others (I gave up meat because my conscience/heart wouldn’t allow me to enjoy it anymore, not because I don’t like the taste) and I struggle. But I’ve seen my health/body change already in just a few months of being serious about it again.  Lost weight, lost fat, feel lighter and more energetic. I just get so _bored_ with the options available here.  That’s what makes it difficult – lack of choice and variety.

So maybe when we move back I can get into it better.

Big things ahead. We are hopeful, after such a long time.

 

Stay frosty.

time flies…

2 days to go until my Facebook account is deleted.

Tick tick tick

Have I had any second thoughts? Yes, the first five days I definitely had a few “oh I need to send a message to so-and-so”  or “I wonder what such-and-such is doing?”  but the last few days, most certainly not. Not a one. It’s actually pleasantly easy now.

 

Just wanted to put it out there that letting go of Facebook is hard, but once you do… it’s actually quite easy to carry on your life without it!

You certainly learn who your real friends are.  People who give a sh*t what you are doing and how you are doing and where you are. :)

I’ve accomplished quite a lot recently without the need to broadcast it on Facebook (or twitter or anywhere else, actually – not even Google+) and just taken a few photos and enjoyed the moments for _myself_

Lots of things happening in my life, and my husband’s life (And the dogs, of course, because they are our family) and lots of decisions being made and the future looks kinda hopeful now.

Cool, man. Cool.

Stay Frosty.

 

Step Away

So. I did it.

2 Days ago I finally pressed the “delete account” button for Facebook.

Day 3 of Life Without Facebook and I have to say, I still have the habit of sitting down in front of my laptop in the morning and think of clicking the link to check my FB, but it’s waning very quickly. This morning I didn’t even open up my “daily” folder.

I opened email, checked Ello, and then had a chat with some friends on slack (new school IRC, basically – same good old friends and channel though) and continued with my day.

Sunday means dog park play date, and I also made breakfast for my husband who is on 24/7 duty for a week. Fun stuff.

We headed off, breakfast warm and cup of fresh coffee in hand for him too. Dogs said hi, we hung around for a little bit and then met our buddies at the dog park for an hour and a half of running around in the mud and rain. It was great. Dogs were great.

So I am _slowly_ getting used to Life Without Facebook, and I am starting to slip into a _new_ life routine. It’s pretty cool actually. I have moments though, I will admit, where I think about it… but it passes and I move on.

I was on Facebook for 10 years… seems both shorter and longer. I was a beta tester, so I got to iron out the bugs and see it change. Not all changes were for the better. The recent influx of complete idiots (this new generation is just unbelievably stupid… seriously) has also soured it for me. And the privacy issues and copyright issues and the whole limiting access to your network unless you pay them… just nicked my “mafioso” nerve and I’ve just had enough I think.

I had a lot of excuses/reasons for staying on, but I was brutally honest with myself and realised that the people on Facebook would do fine without me – my rescue organisations would be taken care of by my good friend Nicole (Even more so, as she’s a volunteer at many of them too) and my Berner groups are so large now they would barely notice the absence. Besides, my husband is still on it and he’s still in the groups, so he will let me know if I miss anything.

I haven’t posted photos in a long time, and I removed all my information a long time ago.  So it was no big jump. Just a few moments of heart fuzz and then it was all over.

I still have about 11 days left to “change my mind” until they actually delete all the information etc… but quite honestly – I don’t miss it.

I’m getting back in touch with the “old school” – even writing letters by hand (just to my mom for now, but I’m happy to write to anyone who wants me to) and living my life for ME.

Hoping my inspiration will blossom again – for my photography, my sewing, my running, my yoga.

It does feel like a weight off my shoulders. I don’t know why, as I was not really very involved anymore (only checked it once a day for 5 minutes) but it does feel like I’ve let go of something that I didn’t need. Which is a nice feeling. If a little scary for me (if you ever have time to listen, I can try and explain my “unable to sever” dreams/daydreams/thoughts) generally.

Life goes on, and so do we.

 

Stay frosty.

 

 

Queen of Excuses

I am the queen of excuses.

Sometimes they are valid, but mostly they are just pathetic attempts to make myself feel better for being lazy/clumsy/fat/uninspired.

So yesterday, I finally kicked my own butt, and made an effort. I signed up to Livestrong Women and got the “MyPlate” app for my phone as well.

It has a calorie tracker. I set my current weight, my goal weight, my age, my sex, my height and my activity level and it told me how many calories I should try and consume a day to help me lose weight.

I thought – that looks easy! And then I started actually putting in the things I was eating and wow do those calories add up quickly! Luckily, I saw that a nice easy dog walk a few times a day helps a GREAT DEAL – so imagine how fat I would be if I didn’t have my girls to keep me active?!

So today, I am feeling much better about it all – I know I _can_ go through the day on the calories I have to consume, without feeling hungry, and as long as I keep up with the dog walking, I will manage to lose some weight. Of course, I need to get a scale to actually see if I’ve lost anything!

One of my many excuses for not running started out as a legitimate one: while at the dog park, one of the dogs (not Azzie, surprisingly!) slammed into my knees and popped my right knee back very hard. It was swollen and bruised for over 2 weeks and I could barely walk, much less run. So I gave it 4 weeks to heal. That was 6 weeks ago. So. No more excuses. I MUST RUN! If dog walking takes off anything from 97 to 170 calories, imagine what running can do?! Come on, biatch, get your fat butt in gear.

I must just ignore the guilt I feel for leaving behind two perfectly good dogs while I go off and do stuff on my own… right?

It’s hard. They do everything with me – they are with me nearly 24/7 (only times they are not is when I have to go into a shop etc, so I leave them at home – I don’t leave my dogs in the car if it’s even vaguely warm outside – and if it’s cold, I still only do it for maximum of 5 minutes) so it’s difficult to leave them behind and head out the door in my running shoes. I know it’s all me! They don’t care, as long as I come back! They were the only ones worried the one night that I went for a run late at night and got locked out of the gate I went through  and had to run an extra 4km to get home… I was gone nearly an hour… my husband had no idea, but the dogs went ballistic when I got home!

I love them so much, these two silly fluffy butts. They are just getting healthy again, after so many months (years, in Gina’s case) of being unhealthy and not quite “right” at all. They are (besides my husband) my everything in this world.

But it has to be done! I REFUSE to turn into a fatty before I’m 40! It’s no excuse! Sure I’m getting old, heading into middle age… but I know women who are twice my age and they run marathons, for goodness sake! I’m HEALTHY, got use of my legs my body my mind – I have NO  excuses left.

And the yoga, too – I need to do that more. The dogs settle after a few minutes of flopping all over me and climbing under my Downward Dog, so that’s not an excuse EITHER!

Vegetarian thing is going well – I’m settling in to my routine and menu nicely, even when tempted by other food that I loved before. I just think about where it came from, how it got there… and my mind is set. I feel healthy, despite the weight I’ve gained (and I know I have, thanks to the wobbly bits and the bits that fight me when I put on an old pair of jeans) I just need to drop the fat now, and tone the muscles that I know I have underneath!

Doing the 30 Day Ab Challenge (Livestrong Women) and I WILL FINISH IT. No giving up.

Interesting people

You never know when you will bump into someone cool and interesting.

Dogs and I were on our usual long morning walk on post and a chance decision (from Azzie) to go down a set of stairs instead of along the road led us to meet an intriguing chap – clearly “that other unit” – he was absolutely delighted to meet the dogs and took Azzie’s crazy head butts and crotch slams in his stride. He said they had a MWD and he was the same – lots of rough love. We chatted about tick control and how he thought it must be very hard for us because my dogs had such thick black coats, we chatted about his dogs back home (two boxers) and how they would go nuts when he eventually (and he said that with a slight sigh) got to go back home for a bit. He patted and hugged (much to Azzie’s delight) the dogs (even Gina allowed him to give her a little squeeze, then she came and sat behind my legs as if to say “that’s all you get, you’re not my daddy”) and he said they were awesome and I thanked him. We continued on our way and he went back to his office.

He had an interesting accent that I struggled to place – American mostly, but almost French sounding, so perhaps from New Orleans, or a former European citizen? I counted at least 3 healed bullet holes on his body – and that was all I could see outside his tshirt and shorts. Such a gentle soul, to be in such a violent career.

I wish him well.

Silence is not always bad

Doing this #100happydays thing with a few friends – where you try and find at least one good thing about your day.

It’s been… interesting. I will admit that I skipped a day, or two. Not because I couldn’t find anything to feel happy about, but simply because my brain has enough trouble remembering things that help keep me moving each day and I just forgot completely to “take a shot” of something good.

I wanted to take a shot of my dog’s poop – that’s when I realised that I needed to think again. Reason being – my dogs have been so sick for so long, that seeing a “good” poop from them made me happy beyond words. Seeing it consistently for the last few days has really kept a lightness to my heart. Also, seeing Gina’s new energy level and playfulness (like when we first got her!) and Azzie calmness and happiness, makes me feel bad for them that they were sick for so long.

It’s still slow going – taking it a day at a time with this – but they are definitely getting better and this makes me HAPPY!

A happy fur mom.

Azzie has another issue that we now need to deal with – but it’s not making her sick and it doesn’t affect her in any way other than it embarrasses her and makes a little mess. Doesn’t happen all the time, of course – almost random, really – so it’s hard to sort out. Going to try something natural first, before we hit the drugs. Just waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

Husband has been gone “on mission” for a little bit and will be gone for a little while longer. I miss him, of course, and the house is silent without him – especially in the evenings and on the weekends when we let our hair down and listen to music, watch movies, laugh about things or he plays his games and gets loud and silly and has fun with his friends online.

But sometimes, it’s alright, the silence. I focus on things that I would normally ignore – me, for instance, and how I am doing.

Some people find it hard to understand that I really don’t mind being on my own. I’m never “alone” – just, not in the company of people. This is fine with me – I like my own company. I can say/think what I want when I am with me – no filter necessary to either tone it down or make it understandable to other humans. My husband gets me better than most, I will admit, but even for him, some of the things that come out of my mouth, from the depths of my dark mind, even he doesn’t always understand it.

 

I’ve had more memories return, as well, from my youth. It seems 10 years is long enough to keep them locked away and now they are starting, slowly, to resurface. I’ve “dreamed” a few – but I know they are _real_ not just my usual vivid dreams. I “remember” them when I wake up. Things come back to me. I have been a little… saddened I guess is the word, by some of them. Because I could not (cannot) remember most of what happened to me before the accident, when things come back and I can understand them better, see them from an older and wiser perspective – I see things now that I was completely oblivious to when they happened.

One of the memories nearly woke me screaming the other night. I woke up with jaw clenched, hands clenched so hard my nails dug into my palms. I was sweating profusely and my heart was beating so hard I felt like I was going to vomit. And my head hurt so badly I couldn’t move it. My husband slept on, so I am assuming my “noise” was all internal. Which is fine. It’s not a memory I wanted to share, anyway.

 

Head injury, and PTSD, affect us for so long after they happen. Sometimes the recovery can be painful – not just physically, but emotionally and mentally too. New pathways are formed in our brains, which means new ways of seeing things. Some of the things can really suck.

Luckily, one of the good things that came of my head injury, PTSD, and subsequent recovery is that I am very strong, mentally. I am also very close to myself. If that makes sense. I know _me_ and I know what I am and who I am and what I can and cannot handle. So, while I feel like I wasted my youth trying to have things I could never have, be with people who didn’t want to be with me at all, or get myself into situations I should have been smarter about – I learn something from every memory that comes back.

Any fellow sufferers who read this – hang in there. Don’t give up. Be strong. Be yourself. Trust yourself.

 

The moon, the moon, the moon…

As much as I don’t want to believe that, as a woman, I am affected by the moon – I cannot deny how utterly loony I get when the moon is full. Seriously.

I become short-tempered and emotional and then the next moment, numb and depressed and sullen. I am clumsy (clumsier than usual) and I feel like a hundred tons of brick on little stick legs (even though I know they are not, and I weigh pretty much the same as usual) and no, I can’t blame it on PMS either. It happens when the moon is full, every time.

Do men feel any twist and pull from the moon when it’s full? Is their inner “tide” affected at all?

Arb and TMI, I know, but I’ve just had a crazy rollercoaster day and it’s not even 3pm.

I just needed to get it down before I lost my marbles.

 

 

moon
The Moon photographed by P-M Heden of Vallentuna, Sweden.

Let it go

I had a moment of deep disappointment yesterday: it’s been over 4 months since I did the photo shoot for the military working dogs and their handlers and I’ve not heard a word from them. I mailed the “liaison” a number of times (on both email addresses he gave me) and sent him the link to the photos, and asked for suggestions for their calendar and photo book. In that time I also created a DVD with all their images on them, and told them I was happy to get anything printed that they wanted to put up in the office. I also spoke to the base PR person, and he said he would get back to me when he got back from leave. Nothing. I sent him more mails, he said yes he would get RIGHT back to me, he said he loved the photos! STILL nothing.

Weeks went by – no response. I mailed again – simply asking for favourites from the handlers now, and went ahead and used my best judgement on the calendar selections and created it. I sent them the link to it. Still nothing.

I also saw one of the handlers when he was out with his dog (who was one of the dogs I took photos of!) and asked why I’d not heard anything – he said that the liaison was PCS’ing (leaving the post, leaving the country, changing stations) and hadn’t shown them anything :( I said I’d given someone at the kennels the DVD and he said nope, he’d not seen it. So all the work was for naught. He promised to speak to the liaison, but I still haven’t heard anything.

I got mad. I got sad. I felt miserable. I felt used. I felt invisible.

 

And then… I just let it go.

Let. It. Go.

The only person/thing I can control in this universe is ME. So that’s what I decided. Their loss, their issue, their problem, their choice. My choice is to carry on and look ahead to the NEXT opportunity.

Simple.

Let it go.

 

meh

Been thinking some more about my deadline (Friday) for deactivating my Facebook account (and other sundry peripheral social media accounts) and pondering what would, in fact, be the best option.

Complete deactivation? Or simply a very pared down version – remove all “likes” and peripheral groups that I do not interact with in any way? Check it only once a week, to forward on animal rescue group posters etc?

I know I don’t have a large audience, with this blog, but I know there are some thoughtful and intelligent people who might be able to offer some comments on this matter.  I know of a few people who have bandied about the idea of “quitting” Facebook.

I want to, I really do, but I know I would feel badly that the good work I can do with networking lost/found dogs and dogs looking for loving homes would be stopped. I know of at least 4 cases where my “share” has led to a happy ending for the dogs (and cat) in question.

 

On a completely different tack – I love the clothes that Lucy Liu wears on “Elementary” – I am pondering a “style change” for myself – I’ve been “this way” (whatever _this_ is) for so many years I don’t even know what I was like, style-wise, before. Of course, the head injury doesn’t help with my recollection of my past. I simply.. CANNOT remember.

I know I borrowed clothes from “friends” – because I could never afford to get my own clothes, and I wore a lot of handmedowns. But other than that – I have no recall of that time.  Probably a blessing in disguise, right? I did, after all, grow up in the eighties.

Thankfully, I know I couldn’t AFFORD to be trendy, so my fashion sins are fewer than my acquaintances.

 

On another note: IT’s SNOWING!!! FINALLY! Been snowing for hours, but nothing is sticking yet, as it’s still too “warm” for that. Hoping it continues overnight, so we can have a nice blanket in the morning for the dogs to play!