Author Archives: Harmoniouscrow

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One Year Ago Today

One year ago, today, our Odin arrived at Frankfurt airport. 

He was incredibly timid and nervous and wide eyed and rather overwhelmed by everything happening around him – but he was gentle, and quite trusting and when he heard his nickname that my husband used constantly before he sent him on his way he relaxed just a smidgen.  It was our ONLY connection at that point and we both used it to the max.

My friend Ciara was there, every step, to help me stay calm and to help take care of Odin while I filled out paperwork and paid for things. She also helped me navigate the German autobahn, in my little orange car.

When we got home, she stayed with us to help with the introductions to the girls – she got scraped knees and torn leggings and a very bruised hand thanks to their enthusiasm.

Just a momentary growl from Odin made Gina back off a little bit (she can be a bit dominant when she meets new dogs) and after that it was wags and sniffing and Azzie and Odin clicked instantly. We then went for a little “bonding” walk with the new pack, before we took them upstairs to the apartment. Ciara was invaluable in all of this. I could NOT (quite literally) have done this on my own. It would have been a nightmare, logistically. I was also emotionally exhausted and physically too – it was a long drive there, long drive back and nerve-wracking waiting for him to be brought out to us, and wondering how he would react to me.

 

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A year later, he has come SUCH a long way. Physically (his leg is all healed, he’s over 20 kg/ 40 lbs heavier) and emotionally (he’s much braver all round, and he’s SLOWLY getting over his overreaction tendency and learning to trust me and respect me) he’s come leaps and bounds since that day. I could not see our life without him, now. He’s bonded completely with Azzie, despite her craziness (he’s not generally keen on over excited dogs, and she is very much easily over excited) and has become quite close to Gina (she’s aloof anyway – never really bonded with Azzie like she did with Odin) and enjoys her calm company. He trusts me and does a little more every day. He still sees my husband as his rescuer, and that means he tends to treat him like an “equal” more than the one in charge – but that’s fine as long as he remembers that _I_ am in charge.

My little hunter... Odin

My little hunter… Odin

He’s taught me a lot – about myself and about my relationship with my dogs – my strengths and weaknesses. I’ve taken steps to learn to meditate and control my temper and keep my energy in check – it seems to be helping.

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All in all – he’s an awesome Little Dude and I am incredibly glad that he is in my life – our lives.

 

Happy rescueversary, Odin.

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hello eyeball hello otorhinolaryngology

Well, I’m in the mix of it again! Learning medical terms, diseases, processes, pathology, anatomy, all the systems (nervous, skeletal, endocrine and all the others) and parts that make our bodies so amazing.

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I find it FASCINATING! I truly do! I have to say that this course is far more interesting, and easier to grasp, and so much easier to mentally ingest and store than the last one I did. It’s in depth, but not overwhelmingly so.

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Yes, I’ve learned many medical names and terms and I’m learning abbreviations and jargon and slang and everything in between – but they put it in such excellent context and in such a variety of interesting ways to help you keep it in your head, that I am breezing through the course modules faster than I thought I would.

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However, I started off at a bit of a disadvantage – it took an extra day and a half for me to receive my login information, so I was behind – but I managed to catch up quickly, as the initial “placement” test was pretty easy (I got 100%). Then, I fell behind as I had the incorrect “end date” for my course, and using their built in “study planner” I felt I was cruising along easily, until I got a weekly email from the course admins and they said “this is where you should be on your timeline” and I was at least 3 modules behind! I panicked, just a tad, emailed them and asked them RUH-ROH, WHAT NOW? and they were very helpful. So I’ve been TRYING to catch up, but I just seem to be “keeping up” – I complete my work very quickly, but it’s JUST not fast enough to get ahead and get to where I am meant to be. I have other things to do during the day and I just can’t spend all the time I wanted to. I do about 5 hours a day, sometimes a tad less. I thought this was enough, according to the study planner, but was sadly mistaken. I might have to take the extensions offered (already paid for) to complete on time. I’m giving it another month, before I decide though, as I really would like to finish this as soon as I can and get started WORKING!

I think that this is really going to be awesome work to do – interesting, but also relatively easy to get through. I have learned so much already, and I’m keen to learn more.

(all photos and graphics taken from the Medical Transcription and Editing course – CareerStep)

I miss this snow.

I bring the snow

If I want it, I bring it! Even Georgia didn’t stand a chance, it seems!

It wasn’t a lot, but it certainly surprised the socks off the Georgians!

(Photo not from this snow, but from Germany last winter. I miss the snow there. Photos I took this morning were blurry and dark, as it was still early in the morning.)

 

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A little update

A little update

I thought it was time for a little update, as I have been absent for a couple of weeks now.

I had plans, but my plans were as usual, rearranged and postponed and dropped from my lists due to circumstances not under my control.

This little update is about the NEW plans I’ve made because of all these changes that have occurred.

The dog walking idea was pushed way back to the basement of my list, because the housing facilitators here on post decided that our (very nice) temporary (no dig) fence from Lowe’s did not “fit the aesthetic” of the post and so instead of our nice and easy back yard fence, they said if we wanted a fence it had to be exactly like the others on post (chain link, horrible looking things) so that it fit in. We would also pay for it ourselves and it would have to be PUT IN PROFESSIONALLY and permanently… which means digging, which means a dig permit from the Georgia land council. Plus, when we move out of here, we have TO PAY TO GET IT REMOVED. How completely bizarre is that? We offered a no dig, temporary fence we could remove with barely any trace… and we could do it ourselves, and it was a very nice looking fence…. and they said NO because it wasn’t “like the other” fences and it had to be permanent. It really boggles the mind. *shrug*

So there went all my ideas of walking my three dogs, just three times a day and being able to walk other people’s dogs the rest of the day. There are a couple of people I might still reach out to… because I feel so awful for their poor dogs (one, chained to a tree in the back yard) that I cannot bring myself to just let the idea go completely. But for now… it’s back burner for that idea.

Husband and I were then trying to think of ways to create a “yard boundary” that wasn’t a fence, but that we could use as a deterrent for young Odin and keep Azzie and Gina from straying into the neighbours yard area.

We decided on an elevated stake and line for Odin, when we are outside with him and the girls. Even if we had managed to put in a fence, I would never leave my dogs unattended out there. We also went to Lowe’s garden section and bought some very big planters and some soil and some seeds (husband said “go nuts!” so I did!) and we will space those out around the boundary area of our “yard” and that should keep Azzie and Gina from straying too far. Of course we’ll have to roll them out the way when the landscape people come to mow etc, but that’s small price to pay for the creation of “our space” for us and the dogs. I love our dogs.

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I can’t wait for early spring so I can start planting! I have so many beautiful things to grow! Useful, beautiful, herbs and plants and flowers. I definitely inherited my mother’s green thumb and love of gardens.

 

The online boutique is slow and as my friend said, perhaps selling other people’s stuff is just not for me… so I took the initiative and gathered some things together and have begun making hand made jewelry items as well. I think th20160115_120232is is the right direction, as I have already sold 2, and have 4 orders pending on one item and 2 on another! I sell in various groups on FB, and I have created an etsy shop as well (link is in the sidebar, if you are interested)  – I have to say that actually CREATING things using my hands and imagination is far superior to selling someone else’s stuff… as pretty as it might be. I think I have found my excellent hobby which, depending on various elements, could turn into something more serious.

 

I have ALSO bitten the New Year bullet and signed up for a Medical Transcription and Editing course – via the military tuition and assistance people. I begin the course in February I think (could be late January) and it’s all online, including the exams, and when I have completed the course and passed the exams, I will be helped with finding employment – which is ALSO all online so I can work from home! I can earn a good supplemental income and will finally feel like I’m contributing to our family. This means a lot to me, as you might have noticed.

I am also still going to complete my security/IT courses and see where that leads me.

I also want to continue my Russian language learning, and perhaps branch out into Spanish as well (since we are in the USA and Spanish is the second most spoken language) while we live here.

So my life is full and there are BIG plans and while they are not all the plans I had last year, I think they will work for me now.

I’ve been meditating and doing mental gymnastics to get my head in order and I think it’s starting to work. The decisions I have been making, after consideration of course (I am a Libra and I am me, after all), have all felt Right. Like I made the right choice and I have no regrets about them. This is a good feeling for me. Long may it continue.

Enjoy this Peacock ore – yes, those are the natural colours! Isn’t it beautiful? It makes me happy, looking at it.

I have some of this of my own. It really is such a happy stone.

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I dreamed about

I had no jewel under my pillow, but a few nights ago I dreamed about following a young Asian boy through a city made of cardboard boxes and then up a wet sandbar into a grounded ship that had a hole in the side. As I was walking up into the hold of the ship, I saw lots of shiny eyes looking at me, and then I woke up. It was so vivid I could smell the smoke from the cooking fires in the box city, and the overpowering stench of rotten fish in the ship. I wasn’t scared though, because the boy was always ahead of me and he kept stopping to let me catch up. He was dressed in orange and white soft clothes.

 

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I Have Plans For The New Year

I Have Plans For The New Year!

 

 

I have plans for the new year

I don’t have resolutions, but I definitely have plans, and maybe a few goals too. Resolutions are for people who don’t really want to expend too much effort, because they know that resolutions made for new year are not normally expected to be kept beyond February, March latest. Nobody will hold it against you if you give up 3 months in to the year! My plans are for the whole year, and even beyond if they work out the way I am hoping they will!

I have set my mind on the Octopus method of contributing to my awesome family: multiple streams of varying levels of income, which adds up to something viable and useful. Yes, it will be hard work – all of it will. Everything I am choosing to shove my finger into will require a great deal of time and effort, but in the end, it will be worth it. Pieces of the pie will add up to deliciousness.

A lot of my ventures will depend on some small steps and things to occur before I can continue, but they aren’t deal breakers, just conveniences.

In no particular order, my plans for the new year include:

  1. Writing for a science fiction anthology that I was invited to pitch a story for.
  2. Setting up my vintage inspired apparel shop again and getting to work on some clothes for clients!
  3. Keep on trucking with my jewelry line via my online boutique – even if it’s a small passive income, that’s absolutely fine with me!
  4. Keep adding my photography to stock image sites and Twenty20 (via Instagram) and work on my social media marketing (for my jewelry and vintage clothing as well)
  5. Begin a dog walking service on the post! Once we get our fencing up, I will be able to take my dogs for a set 3 walks a day, instead of 6 or 7, as they won’t require bathroom breaks to be included as we will have a little back yard for them for that! Once my dogs are set in a good routine (I would never neglect them for anything, especially money, or other dogs!) I will offer my services to the neighbourhood. I’ve already been approached by a few people, asking if all three were mine and if I walked for other people, so I know there’s a market for my skills. I will also brush up on my first aid skills, and get my CPR/BLS certificate for dogs (I have the course ready to roll, just need to make the time to complete it) so that I can set people’s minds at ease about that. I will have a few stipulations of course, for the dogs I will walk, but I really think it will work. Even if it’s just a few dogs a day, Monday to Friday. Will have to rethink things when summer rolls around, as the humidity is killer here in Georgia.
  6. Work on my website – on my own and also with my awesome friend Vanessa of VMCA.

There’s so much to do, I’m pretty excited! I will be busy, and tired, but I will finally make some sort of contribution to our family and feel good about myself and my worth. I feel good though, knowing that I definitely have plans for the new year!