The art of procrastination

cat upside down
Olive.

There are certain tasks I’ve been meaning to do. But I keep putting them off. I’m asking myself why and this morning I’m trying to tackle a few of them before the day gets away from me. Number one, we’re going out of town and I need to find a place to board Olive.

The closer the day of vacation approaches, the more I hesitate. I’m afraid I’m already too late and the “pet resorts” will be booked. I also know that Olive will hate being boarded, but we have to do it for her own good. Plus, I know my husband will be annoyed with the cost and push me to try to find something with a lower cost or demand a discount. Lots of reasons to not pick up the phone.

Another thing I’m procrastinating about is a recall on our car. The notice came in the mail and I just don’t know when it’s a good time to schedule the appointment. I finally called first thing this morning and got voice mail. We also have to get the car fixed after the hail damage. We filed a claim and talked to our agent. They are supposed to get back to us, but they are overwhelmed with claims. Our friends who live in Prescott, at the center of the storm, had a damaged roof, broken windows at their house and found four dead dear in the backyard.

Will we get all of this done on the car before vacation? Or should we wait?

I’m procrastinating on making some phone calls for a couple of interviews I need to do for stories that were suggested for me to write. I’m now procrastinating on writing. Why is that? Do I want to write the stories? Or not?

Live now. Procrastinate later. sign on bookshelf.
A sign I have on my bookshelf in my office.

My son was a master procrastinator in high school. His college applications were pure torture. I hated the whole process. He’d sit for days in front of his computer and get nothing done until right before they were due. He put off a one-semester Health class until the final semester of high school. It was online. I got a phone call Memorial Weekend that he wasn’t going to be allowed to “walk” because he never completed the course. I told the counselor that he had been named Valedictorian and was giving a speech.

“That is odd,” she said.”We’ve never encountered this before.”

They agreed to unlock the entire class and let him finish it that weekend, so he could graduate and be on stage to give his speech. Apparently, they only unlocked one unit of the class at a time, and he had to hunt down the teacher when he was ready for another unit, which was a hassle, he said.

I’m shaking my head at the memory. But at least he came by his procratsination honestly.

Do you have issues with procrastination? On what types of things? Any tips to overcome procrastination?

My valedictorian son giving speech.
My son during his graduation speech.

Quiet time outside with kitty

cat asleep on pet grass.
Olive is sound to sleep today on her pet grass next to boxes of grass I’m growing for her.

Yesterday as I recovered from my big day of DIY with sore muscles, I decided to put the harness and leash back on Olive, our 10-year-old cat. Olive used to spend half her time outside until we moved. Now that we’re living with a bobcat, hawks, coyotes and other wildlife, we’ve been advised to keep the cat inside.

I ordered a harness and leash online when a friend who lives nearby said it worked for her cat. I’ve tried it a couple times and it’s been a disaster. I don’t know why I thought about giving it another try, but I did.

cat in harness and leash
Olive wearing the harness and leash.

Olive seemed more comfortable yesterday. She sat on my lap, nose sniffing, ears moving in rhythm with birds chirping. Her tail twitched. I moved from the comfort of the cozy outdoor chair at the table to our patio bar. There’s a saguaro with baby woodpeckers living inside across from the pool. They make loud chirping noises when their parents are gone and there’s also the excitement of the parents coming in and out to feed them. I thought it would be a lively place to sit with Olive to have an unobstructed view of the action and sounds.

Where Olive wanted to jump on the bar for a better view of the woodpecker’s nest in the saguaro.

She leaped from my lap to the bar. I grabbed her mid leap and ended up with a bloody scratch on my thigh. I don’t know why I didn’t give her the freedom to make the leap. She was on a leash after all. But it was my instant reaction to protect her.

We sat for a while longer and I think we both enjoyed the quiet time outside just listening and observing nature. At least I know I did.

Do you get outside to sit, listen and watch? I’m finding it very peaceful and entertaining. What are your favorite views?

Mixing up the morning routine

A view from my morning walk.

My days are getting stuck in a rut. It’s because of the heat. Last week was really, really not. This week is better. It’s barely above 100 degrees. The heat limits my enjoyment of spending time outside.

I start each morning writing my three pages and then going for a walk. I have to go earlier and earlier to avoid the heat. And my walks are getting shorter, because it doesn’t seem to matter if I walk at 5:30 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. It’s still hot.

So, this morning I decided to get adventurous and do my own mini triathlon. I walked, biked and swam — all within my neighborhood. In reality it was more of a stroll, coast and float. 🙂

But it felt good to be on the bike and get a breeze. I was going to drive to the city pool but didn’t feel like the one-hour round trip drive. So I put on my cap and goggles and swam laps in our backyard pool for the first time. Doing all three things is a great way to start the day.

The downside to my mini triathlon is I got really hungry. I ate too much and am ready for a morning nap!

What are your morning routines like? Do you get stuck in a rut or do you mix it up all the time?

Here’s a fun video of Olive watching quail attack our bedroom slider. The glass is reflective on the outside.

Video of Olive watching the quails through the window.

Highlights of the week

Tonto Bar and Grill in Cave Creek

We tried out the Tonto Bar and Grill for lunch yesterday. It was located on a golf course and this is the entrance. The shrimp tacos were pretty good. I’m on a quest to find the best fish and chips and shrimp tacos.

bunny with light through the ears

I see dozens of bunnies whenever I walk. I spotted tiny babies a few weeks ago, but they are quickly getting bigger. I like how the ears are translucent in the morning sun.

bunny on the street
Painting of Robe cabin.

My Aunt gave me this beautiful painting of our cabin in Robe, Washington. It was painted by my grandmother. My parents built the cabin with their own two hands. It’s long gone. But we still own the land and have family reunions there. I had the painting framed and picked it up this week.

The cabin.

Here’s a photo of my cabin from the 1970s.

Bartlett Lake evening

My husband and I spent Thursday evening at the lake again. We had a new pop-up tent that didn’t blow away.

Carefree AZ slide in city center

When I went to the Farmer’s Market in Carefree, I ran across this slide in the park. If I were a kid, I’d be terrified of it. How about you?

cat on top of the sofa

I’m spending my afternoons reading in our casita. It’s a really good book called “Next Year in Havana” by Chanel Cleeton. Olive keeps me company by resting on the top of the sofa next to me.

How was your week? What were some of your highlights?

Update on updates

Olive is not convinced this harness and leash is a good idea.

The updates all began because my husband’s wallet went missing in action last Friday. We didn’t even leave the house, but poof! It’s gone. So we cancelled the debit card, the credit card, ordered a new driver’s license, etc.

Then I started getting notifications of charges not going through that were attached to the missing card we cancelled.

Yesterday, I tried to update the payment method on our Apple account. It didn’t work. I went to Apple support and was instructed to update my iphone. In order to do that, I first had to update to MacOS Big Sur on my laptop. To do that, I need to open up 100 gb or so of space. It went on and on.

This morning with everything updated — and backed up — I discovered that my passwords didn’t transfer to the new operating system. I couldn’t get email. Couldn’t log into WordPress (you can see I figured that one out.) I was locked out of my Google account and Facebook. I wondered whether I should create a new password for FB or maybe this is a blessing in disguise?

I still can’t update the payment method on our Apple account. It turns out we are on a family sharing plan — and my son is listed as the account manager — with my husband’s cancelled credit card. And the email address for my son is the one he used as a 12 year old! UGH!

As far as Olive’s update: the harness and leash arrived last night. I had no problem putting it on her, but then she totally freaked out and ran under the bed, through the living room back to the bedroom and hid in our closet. Then flattened like a pancake and wouldn’t move. I could pick her up and transport her to the bed and she laid flat. I put her on the patch of grass in the living room we got for her and she laid there lifeless.

cat in harness on Fresh Patch kitty grass
Olive on the Fresh Patch kitty pack

Then she disappeared. I eventually found the kitty on the top shelf of my closet. For not being able to move in the harness, a miracle must have happened.

Eventually I took her out of the harness for the evening and she calmed down. I tried it on her again this morning. I held her as I opened up the screen door and we sat outside for a while. She seemed fascinated with the fresh air, the smells, watching the birds fly. She was content to sit on my lap. Then she ventured down to the ground and the leash upset her. She pulled away and ran around the corner of our house. I got worried she was going to slip out of the harness while I held onto the leash for dear life. I opened the screen door to our bedroom and she reversed course and ran under the bed. I got the leash off, she is safe inside but still wearing the harness. I can’t find her and haven’t seen her for three hours.

UPDATE ON “UPDATE OF UPDATE:” I searched the house for Olive all day long. She’s been missing since 8 a.m. and we were going on 11 hours. I was calling her. Having the flashlight mode on my camera. Looking into every nook and cranny. Couldn’t find her. I found a can of salmon canned kitty food that I made a production of opening for her throughout the house (she eats Friskies dry Ocean Fish Flavor). I searched everywhere. Many times. Once I thought I found her in the Casita closet. But alas, it was my daughter’s fur-topped Sorel snow boots from her years at Utah U.

Olive was still in the harness/vest that distresses her. Her angry mode is still weighing down on her.

After my dinner my husband said, “I’ll find her. Or leave her alone and she’ll come out of hiding.” He found her next to the Sorel boots in the Casita closet. What a smart Camo Kitty.

cat on top shelf of closet.
Olive on the closet top shelf.

SEO Soup

cat harness for sale on amazon

I ordered this harness and leash for my kitty Olive. It arrives today. I don’t know if it’s going to work, but I’d love to let Olive experience the outdoors, safely. It took me 30 minutes to measure the cat with a tape measure to get her size, so I’m not expecting much success with this. Maybe we should stick to the catio idea — if only someone would reply to our calls build one. The problem is an outdoor enclosure for kitty isn’t a big enough job for someone to do. There is the DIY option, but my husband and I aren’t that handy.

So back to the SEO soup. I texted the screen shot above to my daughter. Olive was her cat until she took off for college and left the cat with me. Then she got Waffles the pug — and the two didn’t hit it off to put it mildly.

My daughter replied to my text with “I love how the product title is just SEO soup.”

“I don’t know what that means,” I said.

“SEO is search engine optimization. So to show up more in searches you use a ton of keywords and all possible alternate titles. So that product title isn’t just cat harness, it’s that paragraph looking thing,” she explained.

I get it now. I learned something new. SEO soup.

pug profile
Waffles on his first visit to our new home. Olive’s claw somehow got embedded in his face, but my daughter pulled it out.
cat sitting next to flowers
Olive outside at our old home. She spent 12 hours a day outside.

What new words and phrases have you learned lately? Do you pick up new words from your kids?

My favorite views from last week…

View of Arizona back yard mountains and cactus.
View from my backyard.
colorful blue sky with rainbow sundog
I looked up from reading a book called “The Edge” and saw this. The Edge is a book written by one of my childhood best friend’s little brother. He used to follow me around when I was in junior high and he was around four or five. His nom do plume is Clark Douglas. The book is great with quirky original characters.
Pretty long haired cat sitting at the table
My beauty Olive was fascinated and sat at the kitchen counter as I prepared dinner Friday night.
I saw mule deer severals days in a row last week. Once five walked by.
Cat on top shelf in a closet
The top shelf is at least 8 feet high. Yet there she is.