Friday, July 25, 2014

Kiff Tales. Or Is It Kiff's Tail?

Well, after some patient jiggling and cajoling, I got the light to come on, and the computer to run, so I can share Kiff's big trip to the beach. Our little Kiffmeister had a rough start in life, and came to us a battered timid little guy. It has been a long process to get him to warm up and share his joy with us, but he has been making serious progress, so we decided to bring to him to the beach.

He still isn't particularly good at coming when called, so I was nervous about letting him run free. But after some persuasion, I let him loose and this was how he responded.

Personally, that looks like pure joy to me. He pranced across the sand, exulting in his freedom, but also in security. When he first came home with us, anytime we took him outside he would look for a place to hide. Usually this meant curling up in the dirt behind the bushes around the periphery of the yard. What a difference seven months can make.

He has not changed his opinions about water, however. We tried to get him to come and at least experience the edge of the ocean, but as he followed me I did the thing my grandparents always warned me not to do. I turned my back on the ocean. I wanted to capture his first salty sea steps, but ignoring what was heading in our direction, I didn't realize there was a large sneaky wave coming, and it nearly toppled Kiff completely. Needless to say, from that point on he kept as far away from the pesky water as possible.

The Oregon Coast can be quite unpredictable, but this day, which had been gray and cloudy at home when we headed out, turned out to be spectacular. Nearly seventy degrees, almost no wind, and blue skies encouraged us to try out the frigid waters, despite Kiff's rejection. We let him have his space to romp across the sand. It was encouraging to see that, even if he was up the beach as close to the cliff as possible, he kept level with us, always checking to see that we were together.

Everything was fine and dandy, until we noticed the buzzards starting to circle. While they aren't likely to scoop up an active ten pound dog, the way they kept coming back and swooping in for a closer look - first one, then two, then three ugly scavengers - convinced us that it was time to turn back, and keep a close eye on the pup. We even put him on the leash a few times when they got particularly close.

So we bid adieu to the lovely beach and headed back home, thankful for Kiff's experience with freedom, and encouraged by his acceptance of our protection.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Sinister Plot Twist

I'm writing my end note at the beginning for reasons that will quickly reveal themselves. Another downside to writing this on my tablet, besides the ridiculousness of the messy keyboard autocorrect functions, is that it won't let me to back to a place to correct it, unless it is one of two pre selected locations. Even worse, when I just wanted to go back to the end and create this end note, it would only let me return to the very beginning. So in advance, I ask for your forgiveness for whatever blunders you may uncover in the following lines...
We have a couple different computers in various levels of decay. Mine is so overloaded with photos, despite trying to limit myself and clear them off at least semi regularly, that I can't add any, remove any, or update my system to allow a connection with any other photo holding devices. So when I have a chance, I have been using my husband's old laptop because blogger has not figure out a good way to let me upload directly from my phone or tablet, despite the option appearing to be there, the help topics saying it works, and uninstalling and reinstalling the app more than once.
Yesterday, I had a wonderful opportunity to load some pictures, with plans to write about them over the course of the week. I should also note that, due to a series of events, we have only one cord that our various laptops share,and considering the age of them, the batteries no longer hold a charge, so it is necessary to be attached in order to operate them. Consequently, I unplugged his and plugged in mine to do my workout video, because the DVD reader on his is defunct. After said workout and shower, I was ready to do another blog post, only to discover that the light on the charger was out. I tried it several times, even went back and put it into mine, which worked fine, then returned it to his. No change, no charge.
All this to say, there will be no cute puppy on the beach post today :( I'm still hoping this is something that can be remedied, but I'm not holding my breath...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


I'll be the first to admit that I have some...peculiarities shall we say. I wouldn't go quite so far as to call myself a hoarder, at least not like I was when I was younger, but I do hold onto things. I form sentimental attachments with inanimate objects, which can make it difficult to part with them. That's not really what this post is about, but it does help to set up the background.

I enjoy shopping and clothes, typical girly sorts of things, and these enjoyable experiences build up memories in my mind. Generally speaking, I can remember where, and at least within which life period I bought certain pieces of clothing. So the other day, when I was chatting with a customer at the shop, I realized that everything I was wearing was from when I lived in Hong Kong. (See how this ties in with not throwing things away, and sentimentality?)

The realization drew me to the conclusion that I absolutely had to have a Hong Kong experience in the present. Just a couple stores down from us, the newest owners of the little cafe have introduced Bubble Tea to their menu. Consequently, I made the trek over and bought a mango flavored Bubble Tea to go with my Hong Kong outfit.

Just to make it painfully clear how accurate my above comments were, I will share that I got that tank top at the then new Zara in IFC back in the summer of 2004 and the skirt was purchased at U2 on Nathan Road sometime in 2002. So there's your snapshot of the day. As stated earlier in the month, I'm attempting to get back on the blog writing bandwagon, and having finally uploaded a few pictures, I might even catch up on some backlog...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Literary Renewal

I read a book the other evening. A whole book. Perhaps novella is a more precise term, but there is something so wholesome about devouring a book in it's entirety, in one sitting. The book was, The Pearl, by John Steinbeck. It was sad, and beautiful, and startlingly real. It brought with it memories of days spent analyzing themes, and looking for all the nuances that give a story life.
There was a line near the beginning that struck me deeply, a line that can sum up so much: "It was a morning like other mornings and yet perfect among mornings." From that point on I was all in. I underlined, I wrote in the margins. I was the me that I always am but scarcely see anymore in the every day. And yet, there in that line, it was all there so clearly.
I used to write in my journal every day. I saw there the chance to preserve the fact that every day is its only self. Time is so fleeting, so hard to value. It can seem like monotony, or like an endless rush. Without pausing to remind myself, this is real, this is happening, this is now, it can evaporate into a long stream of other days. Memories cease to be individual and become more a feeling of eras. Mornings are like mornings. A walk, a shower, a bowl of cereal. Humdrum, and frail in their transience.
I can actually sum up eras in time based on breakfasts. In childhood there were bowls of bananas with sugar, pancakes or french toast or waffle weekdays made by Dad. Cold cereal Saturdays poured by me during cartoon commercial breaks. Sundays with coffee cake or cinnamon rolls freshly baked by Mom. In college, early mornings in the cafeteria after working on the janitorial crew and watching the sun rise, before curling back up in bed to sleep another hour before chapel. At Janet's house I ate muffins in the early mornings before going to the mill. In Hong Kong I usually had toast with Nutella and peanut butter, or corn flakes, or Digestive cookies. Salem was all about Great Harvest sweets from work. Alaska meant doughnut Sundays, and cold cereal through the week. In Czech I indulged in rich yogurt with granola, or freshly made baked goods from Hypernova. These days I eat a whole lot of sugary puffed wheat cold cereal. Not afraid of gluten around here. Odd? Probably.
I could actually categorize life by lunches as well. I'm a creature of habit. And lazy. So I deal nicely with routine because it makes things faster, easier, and more safely predictable. These mornings, they blend, and mix, and are hard to differentiate, and yet each is a gift. The start of a new day. Perfect among mornings.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


It is so easy to fall into habits. At least the bad ones. The lazy ones that remind you it's been so long, a little longer won't matter. So today I'm trying to think of how to reconnect with my blog in a fresh way. I want to get back into the flow of writing regularly, because despite several years of slowly disconnecting, it is still one of the core things that drive me forward.
So, no excuses, just hope. We're shockingly half way through 2014, which sounds like a good moment for resolve. Here's to hope.