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I always feel compelled to document the longest night of the year. It always makes me a bit introspective, the winter solstice. Maybe a bit maudlin. Another year gone by, and this particular year seems the fastest I've yet experienced. I feel like I never quite got going, always a little out of step, never finding my rhythm. I feel like I let the year just sweep me along, a passive bystander rather than actively living my life. I feel like I have very little of substance to show for a whole year. *sigh* But my parents woke me up this morning with a phone call to sing "Happy Birthday" (about an hour before my alarm was set to go off, but whatev), and the girls at work brought lunch to surprise us with a celebration of my partner's and my December birthdays. I'm warm and dry and fed and loved. And tomorrow the night will be just a little bit shorter...

Cat's got my tongue

Having a kitten is good therapy. She's cute and cuddly and playful. She and my dog are peacefully coexisting. So have some random kitten pics.

Life with ScoutCollapse )


Signs of Life

It's only been about 5 months since I last posted here. I actually thought it might have been longer. I was afraid to look. Nothing overly dramatic has happened. Winter passed to a lovely spring, the day's grew longer and warmer. Spring gave way to the buggiest summer that I can recall. Seriously, there's been a bumper crop of beetles of all varieties. I've fought off a couple of viral URI's, but been well otherwise. Been stuck on the hamster wheel. I've found myself loosing patience - not patients, thank goodness - and realized that I've got to take some time off. I have to manage my schedule instead of letting it manage me and beat me into the ground. So I've scheduled some time off each month from now to October; sometimes it's just a day or two to make a long weekend. But it's something to look forward to and ensure that I at least try to maintain some kind of personal life. That's been sorely lacking of late.

I think my aunt was concerned about me, so she gave me a kitten a couple of weeks ago. She found the kitten in her parking garage in downtown Atlanta, on the ledge 5 stories up. It was just a little bitty grey kitten. Of the six people standing around for the hour it took to get the kitten down, she was the only one who volunteered to take it. She carried it to Petco to get some supplies before taking it home. When she checked her mail that evening there was a flyer for a missing kitten on her street. Turns out the kitten had escaped and hitched a ride with her to work! It was serendipitous that she was the one to take it back home with her. Her neighbor had found a litter of kittens in her grandmother's basement but couldn't keep them herself, so she was looking for a home for them. My aunt felt she and this kitten forged a bond with their shared adventure, so she decided to give her a home...with me. I've never had a cat before, so I was a little hesitant. I feel like I don't know what to do with them! But I couldn't say no to such a cute little adventurer. I've called her Scout. So far we've gotten along pretty well, except for when she wakes me in the wee hours attacking my legs or hands in an attempt to play. I keep her and the dog separate for the most part, though I'm gradually introducing them. They aren't sure what to make of each other. It's another adventure for all of us.

I feel this journal prompts me to write and writing helps ground me, helps me to reflect and gain perspective. I need more of that.


Answer for question 4220.

What do you do with old greeting cards and letters you receive? Do you throw them away or keep them? If you keep them, where do you put them?
I'm an inveterate letter hoarder. I find it difficult, if not impossible, to throw out cards and letters. I still have a box of letters from my childhood pen pal, stacks of old Christmas cards packed amongst the decorations, handfuls of birthday cards lying in drawers. I recently found an old card from my grandmother tucked in the back of a book - she would send a card for every single holiday like clockwork. Such tangible reminders of loved ones who are far away, or gone, are treasures.

It's not all blood and guts

I think I did a good thing this week. I was seeing a five year old for a pre-op eval prior to dental work under anesthesia. He's a super cute little guy, but he's had a rough go. He was exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero and was born very small. He was adopted as a baby and sees many specialists for developmental issues and other complications. He is super sweet and a very cooperative patient. He felt fine but his "Baby," a little stuffed dog/blanket had an injury. Evidently, he's had this toy since he was an infant and it goes with him everywhere. Baby had a little chunk of his ear missing off the top where little guy had bitten it. He told me that Baby needed to see the doctor and get stitches. So, I got some suture and sewed the ear up. Mom said that he'd wanted to send Baby to see Doc McStuffins, but I think I got him patched up pretty good. Little guy seemed pretty pleased, even though Baby's got a scar now. I don't know about them, but it pretty much made my day. Sometimes, I really love my job. (And thank God for Doc McStuffins! I've never seen it, but it really helps kids not be afraid of the doctor, which makes my job easier.)

Answer for question 4178.

Do you or have you ever collected anything? If so, how did you get started? If not, would you like to start a collection of something?
Oh, collections. I've collected many, many things - rocks, feathers, bugs in the back yard, tea cups, coffee mugs, snowmen, owls, watches, prints, pottery, all sorts of miscellaneous odds and ends. I collect books - so many books, so many I've yet to read. I collect opened browser tabs containing posts and tales of all sorts that I've yet to read. I collect wish-lists and pin-boards and "favorites" full of bits and bobs. I collect acquaintances - people I almost know who kinda know me whom I mean to know better, keep in touch with better. I collect good intentions and best-laid-plans and clever ideas that remain inchoate concepts in one of the myriad half-filled notebooks that I also collect.


A murder gathers in the branches overhead
Collective eye gleaming, watching, calculating
Raising a raucous cacophony as the winter rays lengthen,
Stretched thin and pale in the biting air
And shadows gather, dogging my steps and nipping my heels
As the bruised sky bleeds into the west

Answer for question 4168.

What horror fiction character scares you the most?
When I was a little girl, I was petrified of the ghosts in A Christmas Carol. Marley's face in the door knocker, the restless and shackled spirits wailing in the streets, the cloaked spirit of the uncertain future. I couldn't watch it during the holidays for years! The idea of all those tortured souls roaming the streets was pretty disturbing...as was the looming future, dark and forbidding and so closely linked to death. Heavy stuff for a little kid.