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This was another stupidly stressful week–things going on at work that are totally out of my hands.  Despite that, I still found the time and peace to be happy for at least part of the day…you really have to when your brain is wired like mine.  I have a ridiculously low tolerance for stress, and I’m really easily stressed on top of that.  Some days I have to just be proud of myself for not being a chain-smoking alcoholic, and must remind myself to be thankful that my caffeine addiction and occasional short-term dependence on sleep aids haven’t gotten completely out of control.

On top of job stress, my grandparents had to make the decision to put their beloved dog, Patsy Cline, to sleep on Monday.  She was upwards of thirteen years old, which is really old for a cocker spaniel, but that didn’t keep me from crying about it these last couple of days.  She stopped eating and drinking over the weekend and then started having trouble breathing overnight Sunday into Monday, and it became clear to my family that it was her time.  Meem told me that they buried her blanket, one of Pops’ shirts, and all of her toys with her.  Pops wanted the toys buried because he said she would need something to play with in heaven.  Patsy was a wonderful dog and a great companion to both of my grandparents, especially Pops, these last nine or ten years since my uncle brought her with him when he moved back to Michigan from Tennessee.  It’s going to be very hard to go home to visit and not have her meet us at the door.

This week should be better.  Yesterday Dallas and I made a trip to the other end of the county to go run a couple errands, then made our way out to Lane Southern Orchards to pick up some local gifts for my parents and grandparents.  My mom was a little miffed I didn’t send her some peaches either of these last two summers, but in my defense, it would cost a lot of money to send something that most likely would not make it all the way to Michigan without bruising or starting to rot.  So they all got food, but it’s stuff that will keep at least long enough to get up there.  We go to the dentist this afternoon and then leave for Michigan tomorrow.

On Day 64, Dallas and I finally got to go birding for the first time since he’d gotten home.  The weather had not cooperated on a lot of the days we might otherwise have gone, but it was absolutely beautiful that day.  We saw a lot of cardinals and at least three hawks circling overhead at one point in our walk.

Day 65 was easily one of the most stressful days I’ve ever had at any job.  I came home and sort of collapsed in the yard, where I snapped this picture, distracted myself by editing it, and just waited for it to rain.  I felt no real desire to get up and go inside when the raindrops started hitting me, which was fine because there were only about ten or twelve of them and then it quit.

I wore long pants and new shoes on Day 66 because it was miraculously not hot outside.  I got these Keds on sale for close to half off.  I had a pair back in middle school, a Christmas gift from my parents–they were about the same shade of blue as this piece of gum, and they were kind of platform sneakers, I guess.  Anyway, they only fit for a couple of months before my feet went through their very last growth spurt. (They were done growing by the time I was 12, so I looked pretty ridiculous for a few years until the rest of me caught up–at one point, I was about four feet, eight inches tall, and wore size 8 shoes.)

We did get a little rain–finally!–on day 67.  Out by the air conditioner, we have two really tall, really crazy lantana plants.  It’s likely they could take over the yard if we’d let them.  But sometimes they’re kind of pretty.

Day 68 was fun; we spent a lot of time outside with the cats.  Boo is such a character.  He likes to lay out in the yard on his back with his back feet apart, which is how Bo and Gabby like to lay inside.  We think Boo thinks he’s an Aussie, not a domestic shorthair cat.  He enjoys head scratches, as seen here.

I took this picture of Dallas and Dylan on Day 69.  It is really hard to get my cat to look at a camera, or to do anything else, really.  He’s just not much of a listener.  That said, I think this is a pretty good picture of the two of them.

Day 70 was fairly productive in terms of running grown-up errands, but by mid-afternoon, I just wanted to lay on the couch and tune the world out completely.  I did so with one of my favorite films of all time, The Breakfast Club.  This David Bowie quote, which described what my life was like when I first went to college, still feels somewhat applicable to my life at 26 (which is just a little depressing).

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