Types of Men

Happy Thorsday, little friday and thankful thursday.   Over on the girls’ blog, we’re celebrating – better late than never – National Pet Week, which is all about the ways pets make our worlds better places.

Earlier this week, I had a great training through the Junior League.  One of our members is a behavior analyst, and we received a full report through their program, which has its roots in the Types of Men by Eduard Spranger, a 20th century German philosopher and psychologist.

The six types, also used in the assessment I received are:

Theoretical: A passion to discover, systemize and analyze; a search for knowledge.

Utilitarian: A passion to gain a return on all investments involving time, money and resources.

Aesthetic: A passion to experience impressions of the world and achieve form and harmony in life; self-actualization.

Social: A passion to invest myself, my time, and my resources into helping others achieve their potential.

Individualistic: A passion to achieve position and to use that position to affect and influence others.

Traditional: A passion to seek out and pursue the highest meaning in life, in the divine or the ideal, and achieve a system for living.

Can you guess which two were my guiding (primary) attitudes?  Which are your own?

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Despite my own inner philosopher’s glee – and need to delve into this deeper – I thought in honor of Thorsday, it would be fun to try to peg the furgirls.

Sissy is without a doubt, Individualistic.  The dog is a ridiculously strong, benevolent alpha, and she took all of about six tenths of a second before she had the normally alpha Knight wrapped around the finest undercoat hair on her body, bending to the DIVA’s will.  Unlike humans, the DIVA only uses her power for good – except when she’s counter cruising in search of an extra snack..

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Gretchen Greer is a tougher case.  I think Aesthetic is her dominant motivator.  The Knight and I both have tempers and are prone to snapping, eye rolling, rude noises, etc.  Or rather… roughly six years ago, we were all that and then some.  Enter one tiny, sensitive little terrier who just wanted everyone around her to be calm and happy, and we’re reformed, all to keep Gg from having a panic attack.   She’s something special too, and we’re lucky to have both of these dogs in the house, in our hearts.

I don’t know if we’re giving them nearly as much as they give us.  Dogs are unconditional love personified.

True That

Sunday Sundries…

10168011_613948628694501_6794305290591110519_nOkay, not ENTIRELY true.  I also need dogs, knitting, yoga, “wogging”, dark chocolate, cheese and… but books and tea are a great start.

May 3rd was a day I should have known about and celebrate2010logod on time.  Click over to the girls’ blog to find out why.  (But here’s a hint…)

I bash podunk for its shopping and such, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.  I love our small town and our almost incestuous connections and interconnections.  Today’s adventures give a good glimpse into what I love about life in a small town.

The Knight was perusing Facebook and saw a friend’s BBQ food truck was set up within striking distance.  We ventured out, and of course, got to see the father-son owners/operators, but also a family friend, the daughter/sister of the owners and her family, my nephew, the firehouse duty crew, all while enjoying great food.  (And why on earth with all those folks who know me on hand did NO ONE tell me to try the hand-cut fries before I was too full to even consider it?!)

So seriously, if you’re a local, look for Buckshot’s BBQ’s red trailer and you want the BBQ platter with beans and fries.   They’ll be at the Zion Crossroads Lowes and back in the Pantops area again next weekend.

Podiatry LondonIs anyone else an underpronator or supinator?  (Do you wear out the outer/right edges of your shoes?)  I’m shocked.  I used to be a neutral to overpronator, and while I knew my back injuries/surgery had changed my dynamics, I really thought I’d gone further into overpronator land, not all the way in the other direction.  No wonder those cushioned shoes feel so good to my old bones.  Our new “walking” route is almost exclusively grass, so I may need to go get evaluated at the local running store.  My trail runners are better than the “road runners” I wore on Saturday, but neither are perfect.  (And yeah, I know several of you and all of my local runner-friends told me to go do that a long, LONG time ago.)

Actually, my wear patter is more like the mirror image of A.  Wonder what that means?

I don’t remember what my blood type is either.  Yes, I fixate on things.  Do you?

 

 

 

 

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday, last board meeting as president, May Day…

DSCN1799The deer have eaten my rose bushes – and everything else that ever was green – so there are no raindrops on roses and I’m allergic to kittens, but there are still plenty of favorite things to make me smile.

Not everything is a cause for celebration.  The girls’ blog talks about another hurdle we’re trying to cross.  I am very grateful that Sis is okay, but my spirit is broken.  I’ve lost faith in some people, and in my own ability to keep my dogs safe, but full disclosure…  I did buy a new pair of PANK trail shoes earlier this week, so not all hope is gone.

Ebb and flow is the way of life, but this afternoon, I received one of the greatest compliments of my life.  A teenage girl, about as typical as they come (angst, challenges authority, heard moaning, “I hate my life” and the like regularly), greeted me brightly and then opened her arms wide and we hugged.

And hugged.  And held on.  And whispered things I won’t share.  Growing up can be hard, and I think she really knows not only is she the only one ever, but her parents aren’t the only adults who care deeply about her.

Neither of us are overtly affectionate, which only made the moment all the more precious.

And sometimes, being honored is inconvenient.  That’s all I’m going to say about that for now, but has anyone else ever thought, “Oh, what an honor — I just wish the timing was better”?

The sunshine and roses will be back soon.  In the meantime, I’ll take a rainy day hold tight and sway with a young friend every single time.  A resilient dog with plenty of kisses and sassy demands for a walk – even in the rain, even after being attacked – makes the world a better place too.

And yeah, I do sing “My Girl” to the furgirls, along with “You are my Sunshine.”

What lifts you up or puts sunshine on a cloudy day for you?

 

Bits and Bobs

Yet another week where life turned on its ear, but it’s all good stuff.  I have a great opportunity for work and was reminded again that not only did I accidentally land in the right job, but I have the best friends ever.   Instead of asking me how I could put them in such a position, they’re excited for me and while I don’t take their support for granted, I know they always have my back.  (So there’s your Thankful Thursday moment, even though I doubt any of you will actually read this on Thursday.)

And no, I didn’t forget Thorsday… never will, even when I can’t manage to get a post up.  I have a question for you over on the girls’ blog

I’m already sipping my Sleepytime Throat Tamer tea, so I’m not in a state to give you a well-organized list of things I’ve found online this week or any such cool thing, but here are some bits and bobs you might find interesting:

    • No, I’m not sick.  Dangitall, my allergies found me.  I’ve been battling itchy, “weak” eyes for several days, my nose is all goobered up (sorry… over-sharing seems to be my theme for the day), and now, there’s been enough “drip” that my throat is sore.  WAH!
    • And no, I can’t take allergy meds.  Like wee Gretchen Greer, my body just doesn’t respond well to some drugs.
    • I finally got you a decent photo of my hair color.  I don’t know what it will look like on your monitor, but I’m happy, the Knight is happy, and nearly everyone who has bothered to comment has been quite positive.

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  • Because it’s Thorsday (as I’m composing this), we need a gratuitous doggy photo.  Enter Ellie, the unofficial canine representative in the JLC.  She’s such a sweetheart!
  • I’m sure I had more to say, but my tea is working and my brain is not.

What’s new with you?

 

Saturday Scramble

Oh, the things we’ll do to avoid doing the taxes…

And yes, I realize I’ve put them off about as long as I dare.  Just as soon as I finish this post, I’ll go update the software, walk the dogs and then buckle down.  The taxes are just a symbol of how life is going right now.  If it isn’t on fire or otherwise an emergency, it isn’t getting my attention.

 The girls are peering up under the bridge across the little creek, and that’s a good image for how it goes in the woods of late.  I ran hurdles in high school track, and that’s how I’m managing things right now.  Eyes forward, leap while the brain is calculating when the next leap has to happen…

I do have a few things to report though, and for another photo of the girls in the water and an update on them, click here.

Firstly, coconut milk “creamer” doesn’t cut it.  I can do plain cream and an artificial sweetener or flavored syrup, but the vegan “creams” don’t come close.  I’d rather just do 2% milk and sweetener, to give you some idea?  I am drinking less coffee and more green tea though, so I figure my reduced consumption of “fake creamer” that way is perhaps win enough.

Relay Foods is my new friend.   There’s a pick-up location nearly every weekday that is close enough to on my way home that going to the grocery store is a thing of the past.  See above; I need time-savers and stress reducers, and I find the Knight’s turn down every aisle at strolling speed version of grocery shopping just about the most stressful thing EVER.

Do you Relay?  If so, please share your favorite finds.  Locally, they partner with Whole Foods, so I have a good idea of what’s available, but they also partner with local small businesses – like the tea source I didn’t have a clue about that I walk past regularly when I’m downtown.

1948054_10152302295495792_1403944811_nNext…  I’m pondering a return to nearly natural hair coloring.  I thought I wanted to go blonde instead of grey, but the most recent photos of me are too brassy, and I have a great colorist, use filtered water and quality hair products to wash…

Granted, I know I look awful in black and the lighting is horrible in this photo, but you get the idea.   Am I tilting at windmills?  Should I just use one of those cover the grey temporary colors that’s closer to my natural, medium-to-dark brown?

(And that cutie was Kids in the Kitchen vice chair.  She really is so petite that I am a few inches taller!  I’m looking forward to watching her develop as a JLC leader.  She’s smart, direct and a very hard worker… and always has that big smile on her face.)

Okay.  This isn’t taking care of the taxes or the dog walk.  How goes it in your part of the world?

 

 

Pretending…

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and my last regular general membership meeting as President of the JLC!  It’s also almost Kids in the Kitchen time, and long-time readers know I love that event.

 I love snow too, but enough is enough.  I shared my thoughts – and a photo of the furgirls – on their blog.   I’m ready for flowers and being able to step into the parking lot at work without needing to bundle up.

Sweet Mugsy and Fred are still sending me flowers, and I’m still missing them.  They loved snow far more than the girls do, although even Gretchen has warmed up to the white stuff this winter, in a true testament of that old cliche about if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em…

I’m grateful for each and every one of you.  Your support and friendship is a blessing in my life, and I look forward to having the time to repay your kindness very soon.

In the meantime, can we call the leaves compost and pretend I’m making sure the Boy-dogs’ garden is getting ready to grow beautiful flowers?

Will you share what you’re pretending?

 

Beauty, balance, creamer and crow…

… I can’t drink my coffee black.  REALLY long-time readers might remember that up until that Christmas Eve a few years ago when I told the Knight I wanted a Keurig just because he needed SOMETHING for that insane holiday habit of his (last-minute shopping), I didn’t like/drink much coffee at all.

v00660I still am a tea-drinker.  I love tea, and am trying to work green tea back into the rotation.  If you have a favorite green tea blend, please share.  Sadly, my tea cupboard is lacking in the greens these days.  However, for my morning commute, I brew a 16 oz. travel mug of coffee and slosh some non-dairy, flavored creamer in it.

For those following along… that’s not lower-your-cholesterol-diet-friendly stuff.  In fact, I got rather turned off reading about the lard that basically is non-dairy creamer.  Ick.  Does anyone splash soy or almond milk in her coffee or tea instead of the good ol’ moo juice or the … over-processed but yummy gunk?

I love stumbling upon new blogs/products/recipes/shoes…  oooh, shiny!  (Shocker… wild crows don’t collect shiny objects.  Who knew?!)  If it sparkles, I’m distracted and want it.  So, while my brain is fried from another busy week at work, book-ended by firehouse elections and some League meetings at night, I’ll toss a few more nuggets from bloggers who are capable of stringing together coherent thoughts in a rather grand fashion.

I found Cranky Fitness through Fit Bottomed Girls.   I’ve mentioned FBG before; they have a very realistic, supportive approach to finding one’s one healthy lifestyle groove.  Cranky Fitness’s link happens to be to her give-away, because that’s how FBG introduced me to her AND because I know y’all are readers and many of you like some non-fiction reading too.

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Young adult me, supported by my grandmother circa 1990

As a bonus, Cranky introduced me to The Great Fitness Experiment’s post on the cure for not being good enough.   I was blessed to grow up with plenty of folks assuring me I was awesome and the world was my oyster, and I’m not sure I’ve lacked self-confidence more than a few isolated moments here and there, but that doesn’t mean I’ve never looked in the mirror and thought or said mean things I would never even THINK about a friend, just to give one example.

Again, those of you who read here regularly know I don’t believe in coincidence, so it’s not by chance that while I’m sitting here with my feet propped up, wishing I wasn’t so drained on a lovely spring evening, I tripped over these two blogs, these two posts.

Here’s something a lot of you don’t know about me.

I’m a fraud.  One of my theme songs might be “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” and definitely, Miranda’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” suits me.  (If you didn’t click over…  Go and fix your make-up/girl it’s just a break-up/run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady…)

Life is hard, but for me, it’s harder when I wallow.  For me, balance comes faster when I pull up my bootstraps, hide my crazy, and smile.

So… yeah.  Life is hectic.  But I landed on my feet and can honestly say I’m now in that really special place where the adage “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” applies.   I broke one of my golden rules and brought work home this week.  I forfeited a snow day because our shop is running VERY short, and I knew my co-workers were going to brave the weather, so the least I could do is go the extra mile with them.

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The JLC Holiday Parade 2011

Likewise, being an unintentional two-term president of the small but fierce JLC hasn’t been a picnic at times either, but the rewards have exceeded the personal cost.  I’ve missed some sleep.  I probably have risked frost bite with those parking lot meetings after the meetings.  I’ve had to trust the Knight to take care of Sissy’s eye drops FAR more often than I’d prefer, but see her post; she’s her sassy, fine self, and she and her Dadaw both survived a triple-purpose trip to the vet today.

BUT…

Here’s one thing I’ve learned over that two-year journey that is coming to an end; appearing unflappable isn’t always a good thing.  I had a crying jag after a 2000 mile round-trip sprint to deal with my mother’s final arrangements – and snow in the deep South?! really?! – and informed the Knight that just because I wasn’t a puddle of mess, it didn’t mean I didn’t need support.  Other women are watching me cope and juggle and do it all, and I was honestly chagrined for all the wrong reasons when one of the women I’ve worked with in the League at the highest level for YEARS now was shocked to hear a dirty word escape my lips, under my breath, just last month.

Sorry Nana; I wasn’t embarrassed BECAUSE she heard it, but rather, because I thought she knew me better than that.  Come on, folks.  I do try to be a class act, but I work in the fire service “service industry” and was basically raised by an old Marine/former fire chief/mechanic.  Do you REALLY think I say (or think?!) “darn!”?!?!?

Anyhooooo, the point of this ramble is that I’m going to continue to fake it ’til I make it when life is hard, because it works for me.  I’m happiest when I’m problem-solving and making the world a better place, but that works for me because I have the Knight and some of the best friends ever, with whom I can be snarky and critical.  It’s how I vent.

Well… that and logging Sissy miles, and miles.  Even on a bad walk where Sissy has pulled like a freight train and Gretchen Greer has bounced all over like a paddle ball, I get home feeling restored and ready for the next round.   My faith is renewed when I’m in nature.  There’s just something about being in the woods – or on the beach – that puts it all in perspective for me.  (Go endorphins!)