Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sibling Rivalry

When I first got my cats, they were close as could be. They had each other, and they had me, and all was right with the world. After a while, we moved in with two other cats, both about as unsociable as could be, and my girls still had each other and me, so everything was fine as long as nobody pissed off the other cats. We moved back to my childhood home for a few years, where my girls were kept apart from the two resident cats in order to avoid squabbling, and that mostly worked.

When we moved back to Vermont, though, the dynamic began to change. We had a sociable cat to share the new house with, as well as another cuddly human (my now-ex-husband). I'm not sure if Kira and Maeve decided that there were things in life worth fighting each other for, or if they got used to having someone to look down on (my ex's cat was the baby of the group, and utterly submissive), but after my ex and his cat moved out, my girls were suddenly not friends with each other anymore.

They'd fight over cuddle time with me, they'd fight over prime napping or bird-watching spots, they'd fight over darned near anything, despite the fact that the house is big enough for them each to have several rooms worth of territory that don't overlap with the other's. I played referee every so often, but knew they had to work it out for themselves.

It's been a few years now, and while things aren't back to the way they used to be, they're better. Kira still throws a yowling fit if Maeve claims my lap first, and they don't cuddle or groom each other the way they did when they were little, but they can be next to each other without it ending in hissing.

That said, there's still some tension. This may look cozy, but those paws are engaged in some passive-aggressive behavior. One pushes the other to say, "this space is mine," and the other pushes back to say, "no, it isn't." Sometimes this is as far as it goes, but other times it'll progress to paws on faces, and then one or both will realize it's about to get dangerous, and beat a hasty retreat.

Still, they're both on my lap, and they're not hissing at each other, so I call it a win.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

On Fathers

I feel like I should start a club. Two dear friends have lost their fathers in the three and a half years since I lost mine, and the circumstances were all somewhat similar. All of us had complicated, often difficult relationships with our fathers, but we were there, dutiful children providing care and comfort, at the end. All the fathers had been ill for a time before they passed, though the degree and timing of the illnesses were a bit different. And for all of us, the aftermath of their deaths has hit harder than we expected.

I let Father's Day pass quietly this year. I had planned to go to Maine with my sister, our annual celebration of Dad, to hike and photograph and visit the places where we scattered his ashes, but some expensive car repairs set me back and I couldn't afford to join her. I went to that medieval event instead, which would have been a good distraction had it not been such a wash, and ended up spending all of that Sunday at home. It was both good and bad -- good in that I wasn't bombarded with Father's Day stuff going on in the world, but bad in that I was stuck in my thoughts without outside influence.

There are still moments when I'm halfway through logging into my email to send him a question before I remember that I can't. There are random memory triggers, like the "bug show" Vermont Edition ran the other day (Dad was into entomology), or the profile I heard of a musician who played music Dad would've loved, or some groaner of a pun that would've made him chuckle, and when they sneak up on me it's all I can do to keep from bursting into tears.

Seeing my two friends going through the same thing is both a help and a struggle. There's some comfort in knowing I'm not alone in my grief, but I wish I could tell them that it gets better, that the pain goes away after a while. It doesn't. It changes, bit by bit, but you never stop feeling that loss, and it never stops hurting.

Cherish the people in your life while they're still with you. They may leave sooner than you think.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

One Sash, Two Sash, Green Sash, Blue Sash

Trying to explain environmental responsibility to people who can't see past their wallets is an exercise in frustration. Aside from that, today was a lovely day for installing and removing sash, even if we only accomplished half of what we'd planned. I miss this work.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Angry Birds

There's a pair of House Wrens that live in a little birdhouse on my garage, just a few feet away from my house. They take turns singing in the morning, and chittering at me if they think I'm too close to the nest. Tonight I've managed to infuriate them by letting Maeve sit in the kitchen window, which is about 15 feet from the birdhouse. One of those little wrens has been chirping its little head off at her for a solid half-hour now, apparently not realizing that the cat can't get past the screen.

That is one angry little bird.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Soggy Flop

This weekend was the midsummer celebration for one of the neighboring medieval reenactment communities. Because it wasn't too far away (90-minute drive) and I needed a little income boost, I decided to bring my wares and set up shop.

I should've taken it as a sign when the merchant coordinator was on vacation and unreachable from two weeks before the event to three days before the event. I should then have looked at the weather (soggy) and given it a pass, but I decided to head out there and make a go of it anyway.

Five of the seven registered merchants showed up, and though the event technically lasted from 3pm Friday to 3pm today, Merchants Row was completely empty by the time I finished packing up and headed out around 8 o'clock last night. I made two sales and just barely covered my gate fee, and another long-time merchant did even worse. Turnout was terrible. The weather wasn't as bad as I'd feared, but there was a persistent threat of rain that kept a lot of people from risking the trip.

On the plus side, I got to spend time with some friends I haven't seen in a while, and made a new friend with the cunning use of geekery and tea. I also got a wonderful night's sleep Friday night, which doesn't often happen when I'm camping.

So, all in all, I probably shouldn't have gone, but I'm glad I did, if only for the social aspect. Now it's time to prep for the big show in three weeks, starting by washing the laundry and dishes from this one.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Voicemail Discovery

I don't know who called my cell phone last night or very early this morning to sing me happy birthday (they got my name right, making it less likely to be a wrong number), but I appreciate the thought... even if it's over three months late. Maybe they got me mixed up with my sister, whose birthday is later this week. Hmm.


How is it that they guy who got fired sounds intelligent, reasonable, and capable, while the guy who recommended firing him sounds confused and inept?

Politics are confusing.