Archive for the 'urban' Category

Living for Sundays…..

I think this would sum it up…….

Ice Box Cave

It’s a pack walk

We are up between 6:00 am and 7:00 am every Sunday morning to take part in this get together of like minded folks.  We pick a park, this time it was “The Ledges” at Cuyahoga National Park, we meet up and hike between 2 -4 miles depending on  the weather.  We do this for our dogs, and for us.

For us living in an urban environment can take a toll on the psyche – specially me.  Hiking recharges the batteries, for me it is where I find peace and balance.  This Sunday was a perfect day.  I will be the first one to tell you that it is not easy living in a dying city.  For those who live in this environment and are feeling a little “off”, if possible, get away and go for hike.   There is something about Mother Nature’s healing powers of the spirit.

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Spring is here….

Spring started off with a lovely party with friends, food and drinks. We could have not asked for a better start. Right now it’s about 30 degrees here and well I think spring is on hold for another week.

A little catching up – the house – not touched – nope – not one thing. I am struggling to find a reason why we should do anything more here. Our neighborhood looks for the most part like shit, a ghetto.

The neighbors next door think that our drive-way apron has an “enter” sign on it as they are driving up and across to their part of the side yard. I guess side yards and driveways are one in the same because it is trashed with tire tracks now. Lucky for us we have very big rocks that will be placed as landscaping material – cough, cough – to stop them from driving on our part of the side yard and trashing it. The neighbors across the street – silent! However, I have learned that when one neighbor starts to behave and get a clue – that someone else in the neighborhood must – there has be a “Ghetto Code of Ethics” somewhere written – pick up the slack. The award for ghetto-ness now goes to the next door neighbors.

I walked the dogs for the first time in a very long time around the neighborhood Monday night and imagine every part of your being just shaking because you are being stalked by 2 hoods and one dog. Not because I’m scared, no, because I am pissed off. Minutes prior to the run in with these two there was a group of 3 males and a dog on the opposite side my street that we passed. This was not a leisurely stroll with Fido, Fido didn’t even know how to walk on a lead. Most people do not walk their dogs here and for the few who do, you can painfully tell that they are not looking for (fill in the blank).

Back to the the disrespectful youths, they are now walking in the middle of the street, the one youth is telling his dog “get it” (meaning us) over and over which is causing the dog to get really amp-ed up. They were gaining on us and Lena is feeling the need to protect due to the out-of-control dog and Stella wants to run like hell and then thinks well I need to protect my human. Rage does not even begin to describe how I felt. I don’t think that there is a word for it. All I did was shake and try like hell not to pull on the leads. I have no tolerance for this. I have no tolerance for a couple wannabe hoods with a dog playing a game of intimidation. I have no tolerance for people who dishonor a certain type of dog breed and were doing it at that moment to me. I don’t think so little man-child!

I had to get control of this situation. I stopped and turned around, faced them, and confronted them. I stood my ground and waited for them to make a move. I know I was glaring at them because I don’t hide how I feel very well. I probably looked like a crazy lady to them, I’m okay with looking like a nut job when I need to. I was firm with my words and loud. I was hoping that some neighbors were watching. They made a wise decision and walked away. Yes, I always carry a cell phone with me for those who are wondering. I know I put myself and my dogs at risk. I realize that this could have gone a very different way. I will be damned if some disrespectful man-child thinks that intimidating people with a dog is a good idea and that this is a tool that they can use. I’m not easily intimated and I have zero tolerance these days. I continued our walk making sure I wasn’t being followed and headed for the main road. I’m not really sure if I did the right thing and yet I’m really not sure if there was anything else that could have been done. Socialization class is on Saturday, we will see if any damage has been done by this incident.

There is stuff going on in our neighborhood – again, what would appear to be normal to some is very much the opposite for us. I don’t like the vibe here, I don’t like it at all.

We will always out-last them I keep telling myself, we will always out-last them.

Absenteeism, Dog Rehab and Small Projects

I should apologize for my absenteeism but I haven’t been in a real good place and as I would try to write – my words were so negative. So, I have kept silent and just been a voyeur at other blogs where life is happier. I guess I needed some time to sort some stuff out. Not that all is so depressing because a couple of things have been done at the house and well, Stella has been in rehab and by proxy – so have I.

Here is a catch up of what has gone on in the rust belt.

Life is energy….this is our philosophy about life. This works on many different levels from where we live, all the way to a dog named Stella and everything in between.

Stella as a baby….damn cute and was Satan’s spawn.

I made the decision to take Stella to the next step in her rehab, when you’re stuck you’re stuck (I was so stuck) and she was showing interest in some dogs (calm ones only) anxiety with others, and she still wasn’t digging men however. I felt it was finally time and made the call. Scott doesn’t know that when I left our first meeting I cried – I do not recommend when driving. I finally found what I have been looking for, I have hope, I have relief that this dog would finally just be “a dog” over time.

The last 5 weeks have been a journey, for her and for us. For this dog to meet her first dog and to have a positive experience is like watching a child take its first steps. My heart could of burst, but the fact that there were used condoms on our sidewalk rained on our moment. Thank You ghetto people for showing us you know how to use birth control – now how about a trash can?

Stella has been to a pet store which is something we could have never done in the past with her. She was in a room with 8 other dogs off leash and not freaking out. We learned to how to manage her fearful behavior, how to set limits and boundaries with her, claim our home, how to catch her at the start of fixating on men, new commands and was on a treadmill. There is one thing that for the husband and I that stood out the most was participating in a pack walk after only 2 weeks. This is the most spiritual thing I have ever done. There is nothing like 13 dogs and 10 owners hiking and not one single peep out of the dogs – it was heaven!

Stella will continue with socialization with Versatile K9 once a month and we will continue to do the pack walks with them. I would love to get some folks together to do pack walks in our neck of the woods on the offset weeks. Our goal with her is to walk downtown of our city with many people and for her not to have anxiety about it. I should also note that yes you can teach an 11 year old dog new things. Lena has gone along for the ride and has learned a new command or two along the way. We had suspect that she might even be a part of some of the issues that Stella was showing. Needless to say our home is much calmer as a whole. A friend remarked last night that you can really tell that the dogs are being worked with because Stella has so much more confidence. If you are looking for a dog trainer/behaviorist Scott and Kaethe from Versatile K9 I highly recommend.

About the house and small improvements.

We had this old non-closet (the kind where a coat hanger doesn’t fit correctly) in need of some love. After I took out a stud or two and well all the framing stuff we did some drywall and just left it.

We always had other plans for the space but just never got around to it. Rain gardens to build, cold frames to build, fence staining the endless list of stuff. It is only part done for we need to go and do a fabric run but it’s much better than it was. A place for coats, the dogs stuff, hats, shoes and boots.

The other small project we did was to utilize a 50 plus year old shipping crate that is just too cool it sit in the basement. We have no storage in our bathroom. No closet. No place to put a closet. Taking out walls to utilize the room between the studs…not even going to go there.


The closet cost like $40.00 in materials and the bathroom cost pennies for the screws. Not bad!

The holiday's have come and gone and well…. I am glad it is over. The neighborhood sounded like a war zone on New Years and I find it quite an accomplishment when one can tell the difference between fireworks and gunshots. In this hood it was more gunshots accompanied by a couple very nice, colorful firework displays.

The neighborhood is semi silent this week. We had huge hopes of the neighbors across the street had moved but as I have said once before when the bills come in people stay with friends and family and return when they have money. I wonder if Mr. Landlord is still collecting his section 8 monies?

The reality is that our neighborhood is going down the drain faster than you can say home for sale. There are more rentals than owner occupied and due to the city's lack of everything it is a matter of time before it looks like the other really bad sections of the city. You see this is part of my funk, my frustration. I have to be honest I am so close to outing where I live I can almost taste it. When you read in a city official report that no matter how much money you throw at the people problem it will never be solved until you solve the economic problem it begs to wonder why?

So you see where we live is sucking the energy right out of us. I would say more me than the husband. I live, I work within a 1 mile radius. The husband and I will go to different parts of the city and walk the dogs looking for something good about where we live. Every single time we see some major screw up of where bad planning has graced us once again. A nice neighborhood, a developer who ran out of cash and not so nice housing is what is left because it becomes rentals and not the good rentals but the ones with the sheets as curtains. The best sign I read on a persons home was "Smile you’re on camera".

Time Off….WOOT!!!!!!!!!

I am doing the the happy dance. I am on vacation, that’s right V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!!!!!!!

I was asked if I would like to come in on Thursday for some training thing…..

NO!

NO! I am NOT coming in…..!

I have moved my vacation time twice already, I’m so done with the public, computer software issues, training, all of it. Homicidal thoughts have been crossing my mind way too often. Really, I need a break.

Back to the happy dance. It has been an interesting start we saved one pit bull from getting hit by a car on Sunday on our way to the store. I have never met such a dominate, ill mannered, no training, feet fixation, mouthing, growing, little girl(40 lbs) like this one. She is not what most responsible owners of this breed or any breed, would call a “good example.” Her owner, lets just say I had some very bad vibes about the whole deal, should not be allowed to own a dog.

This is the second time now that I have had regrets returning a dog to its owner. My gut tells me by her behavior and other observations that there is bad stuff going on. This was the 1st time that the husband has ever been concerned about the behavior of a dog that he has interacted with. In all honesty I kinda think she may have gotten mad because we were taking her back. Nope….she was pissed because she couldn’t mouth at his feet and had a temper tantrum like a child. For some strange reason I didn’t get nervous by her tantrum. I saw it as a type of acting out so to speak of and took the lead from the husband as he requested. I found the whole thing very strange and yet I understood this dog and her ill mannered ways. Btw, she got in our car, jumped in the front seat, in my lap and gave me sloppy bully kisses when we first picked her up. I believe due to her being in “her” environment, street, home set off the behavior. Interesting, I find all of it interesting.

“Can I rake your leaves and have them?” I really asked my neighbor this yesterday because when I see leaves I see compost. I know it’s a strange way of thinking but I can’t help it. All leaves to me, besides smelling good and crunching under your feet make me think of compost. This is a key element to a great garden. Since we have embraced this urban farming thang, I need leaves because I really hate paying for compost. I keep telling my one landscaper friend to dump all his leaves in my drive because I really need them. Really, 8 – 50 gallon garbage cans packed full of leaves is nothing which is what we raked yesterday. I need a huge truck load. I am coveting my other neighbor whose yard may yield about 15 garbage cans full.

So why are we so focused on leaves….well the husband and I have only been cleaning out the back 40 when time has allowed and getting it ready for spring. Let me put it this way, we are cleaning and looking at possible designs. Since we are moving away from a yard that “looks pretty” to a yard that is “pretty” and has purpose “food” the clean slate issue keeps coming up. We have decided that 80% of our landscaping will be finding a new home. We figure that we need about 10 yards of compost to amend the soil of the two zones that will be created next year. There will be a total of 4 zones when all is said and done. I still have much research to do because permaculture is somewhat different than having regular gardens and I’m okay with that.

Projects to finish while on vacation is the office old closet area and re-purpose a 50+ year old shipping crate for the bathroom. Small projects, low cost and large impact.

85%

Well….it’s November folks and tomorrow is a big day – Election Day! What’s on the meal ticket? They want more money! Everyone wants money!

My city, as it was quoted in the paper (cough, cough) has an 85% poverty rate. WOW! are you freaking kidding me! I guess the rest of the 15% are suppose to foot the bill. I don’t think so!

The political manipulation on all fronts, schools included, are down right disgusting. Folks – all the adds, letters to the editors etc is all manipulation directed at you. The playing one side against the other side is all nothing more than manipulation. The whole party line crap is just that – crap! They love to get folks going and keep people divided because if we all ever sat at the table together and put our heads together, we would figure out that these people have been playing us for a very long time.

Most politicians are full of themselves. Most will tell you anything to get the vote. These folks are not working for us in any way shape or form it just appears to look that way until you really start thinking – so what has really gone on in the last x amount of years? These people bank on the fact that Americans have a very short memory and that people are very distracted with life/TV these days. Because my friends they really don’t want us thinking too hard about anything, it would not be in their best interest if we did.

My city will never be what it once was, not 10 years from now, not 20 years from now or 50 years from now. It’s over, so can people please get with the program already. Telling us that you need more money is not getting with the program, it’s beating a dead horse.

Six Weeks – Where has Time Gone???

Most projects at the rust belt came to a halt when the temperatures hit the high 80’s with a 90 plus heat index. The Husband was in the middle of re-staining the deck and newly just built trellis when all came to a stop. I stained all the frames for the couches finally – and people it was hot! When the stain/sealer is drying on the brush mother nature is trying to tell you something. Our deck at this point is 1/2 done. Don’t get me wrong I did some transplanting of plants that have been long waiting for their little roots to spread in the rain garden, but that has really been about it. It all just sucked – the weather that is and so at that point we stopped working and enjoyed life. Yes, you may say that I don’t do this hot weather thing real well which is why we don’t live in the south…oppressive, just oppressive heat can be.

Ahhhh living life…. there have been many parties and entertaining with friends and family. This is what we do when it gets hot. Perfectly made margaritas & sipping wine, swimming, awesome people and late nights. We have been planning for vacation in September – things we want to do – and planning out the use of The Back 40.

For those who don’t know The Back 40 is an area of our yard that is about 40 feet long by 59 feet wide. This became the holding area of all things in landscaping, the landscaping of the old front yard prior to basement rebuild and rain gardens. We like some of what we have done but the yard feels unbalanced – which is something I just can’t stand. As the process of redesigning conversations have come up, the husband and I have become aware that we need more space for veggies. We like to grow our own food and herbs. So in the new design of the Back 40 I need to design more area for veggie growing and herbs all the while still having a sense of a balanced yard – color and textures. It will take a miracle to pull this off and September is just around the corner when we are supposed to start this project.

Where in the hell has time gone?

Thank You…..Mr. Landlord(s)

Besides a whole lot of weeding and planting there have been some other things that have going on in the hood. People have been moving into this old neighborhood courtesy of the many “For Rent” signs and “word of mouth networking” that goes around here. Word of mouth networking is how you keep your money on the “down low”.

The section of the street where the husband and I live, OWN – not STAY, has become infested with trash. Non respecting, ghetto-trash. It was one thing when there was one family – I think they are a family – not so sure who really lives there still to this date. Hey, at least these folks I can work with.

Now there are more homes rented out and they bring others with them. I have no tolerance left in me for ignorant people. The whole vibe of our street has changed within a week. I think an exorcism is in order, along with a Rabbi, Voodoo Priestess, Minster, Bishop, Reverend and whomever I missed. Cleanse the bad mojo that has been bestowed upon us quickly I say.
Continue reading ‘Thank You…..Mr. Landlord(s)’


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