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Rated: 13+ · Book · Personal · #1921220
My thoughts released; a mind set free
These pages contain my thoughts, from meandering ideas and persuasions to deep cerebrations and serious mentations.

Why, for what purpose? To release my mind and set creativity free. Somewhere inside the constraints of my mind dwells a writer, a poet, an artist who paints with words. In here I release those constraints and set the artist free.

Perhaps, lost somewhere in the depths of thought, is a story or a poem, waiting to be written.

I'm docked at Talent Pond's Blog Harbor, a safe port for bloggers to connect.
January 30, 2023 at 8:09pm
January 30, 2023 at 8:09pm
I just finished another edition of "Blogging Bliss Newsletter Subscribers and have to say well done to Wordsmitty ✍️ ; the Newsletter is always well-written and enjoyable.

"One of the topics he touched on was changing things up in our blogs. I think that's worth trying, so I'm talking instead of just writing."

"Who ya talking to?" Halo asks.

"Halo, nobody but me knows you."

"So, introduce me, you clown. Are you ashamed of me? Is there some reason you don't want your friends to know about me?"

"No, Halo, I'm not ashamed of you. Why would I be, your terrific, you're always here to tell me what to write, and you a damn fine-looking muse. Even Max likes you."

"Okay, everyone, Halo here is my muse. She's a great muse and has stuck by my side over the years, offering up suggestions and sometimes even telling me where to go, like when I don't listen to her suggestions."

"Hey, TJ, did you forget that time I left you?"

"No Halo, I didn't forget, it was a terrible time for me. But, if you remember correctly, you didn't actually leave me, you wandered off and got lost. Yeah, now it's coming back to you."

"That's right, you were trying to write something but I forget what. I'd likely remember if you had listened to me, but you had to be stubborn and do it yourself. I got bored and went for a walk. But it's not my fault I got lost, you never told me where I was."

"That's right, Halo. I was writing something that I never finished because you wandered off and I could find you when I needed you to help me out. It was right after we first moved here, and you wanted to go explore."

"Yeah, but I never lived in the woods, and it's kind of scary all by my lit' ole' lonesome. I tried to find my way back, but I went the wrong way on those train tracks and then I found a highway that sounded familiar, so I followed it. The next thing I know, I'm at the house you moved out of. I didn't know what to do, so I stayed there and hoped you'd come back."

"I did come back for you. Well for you and some more of our stuff. I was surprised when I pulled up and you came running out of the house. You'd been missing for months, I thought you left me for another writer. I never realized how much you mean to me, Halo."

"Anyway, I think everyone knows I'm your muse now, so let's get to the writing."

"Yeah, I was going to write in my blog, but after all this, it's getting kind of long. I don't want to bore everyone, so mayhaps we'll do this another time, if that's alright with you, Halo?"

"Sounds good to me, TJ."

Anyway, Halo says it was fun, and enjoyed getting to talk to you. I'm happy 'cuz I got to introduce you to my BMF (Best Muse Friend). Until next time, be kind to your muse.



"Do you think anyone would start a Muse's Day?"

"I don't know. Someone should. Where would we be without you? How 'bouts I post this and you and I can sit and talk about this?"


January 26, 2023 at 2:33pm
January 26, 2023 at 2:33pm
So, I've been making entries in "Andre The Blog Monkey's Banana Bar and the prompts make it a bit difficult to write silly foolishness. So, I thought I would share a short story about a kitten I rescued when I was but a wee lad in school.

I was walking home after school one fine autumn day when this little, fluffy, and scared kitten ran out of a hedge with a rather large dog right on its tail so I rescued the cute, fluffy beast. Well, I didn't actually rescue him, he, in sheer terror and panic, almost ran into me. Needing a hasty escape, he proceeded to climb up my pant leg and shirt, taking refuge on my shoulder as I felt those tiny, but needle-sharp claws piercing my skin from my ankle to my shoulder.

I reached up to remove him since his tiny but needle-sharp claws were still deeply embedded in my shoulder, but the little bastard bit my finger, hard. Being a somewhat intelligent youth, I quickly gave up any thoughts of removing him and popped my injured and bleeding digit into my mouth. After administering first aid I yelled at the dog who was still jumping and trying to get the kitten, which was making it dig those little, needle-sharp claws ever deeper into my now very sore shoulder.

The dog retreated back around the house it had appeared from and I, still fearful of removing the terror-inflicted little beast went up to the house and inquired if it was their kitten. "No." I went to the other houses in the neighborhood and inquired the same, and received the same answer, "No." With no other choice, I proceeded on my way home with a bleeding finger, multiple punctures up my leg and torso, and a cute little kitten attached to my shoulder.

Once home, my mother was able to painfully remove the kitten, which didn't bite her, but instead curled into a tiny little ball and began purring. She told me I had to try and find the owners, so after it had gulped down some leftover meatloaf and drank a small bowl of milk, I took a picture with my dad's polaroid and made a poster with our phone number and address so the little, cute, and now very tired kitten curled in my mother's lap could be returned home.

I posted it on the side of the phone booth, and being a very small town, figured that would be sufficient. After a few days, someone had boldly written "No" under the text asking, "Is this your kitten?" Someone else had posted another sign next to mine stating, "This is a public phone please do not post signs here!" I took my sign down and wrote on theirs, "If we can't post signs here, what the hell is this?"

Anyway, I ended up with a tiger-striped kitten I named Tiger Elroy Killroy Butch and a week of being confined to my room after school for my notations on the sign on the phone booth. It seems the phone company recorded my phone number and address from my sign and notified my parents of my comment on theirs. I said I was somewhat intelligent, not a genius!
January 26, 2023 at 9:56am
January 26, 2023 at 9:56am
Yes, this is my third attempt on the third day of trying to write something here. As I quote myself, but seldom say it these days, life has been a big plate of fuccaroni and cheese (and not the good cheese, that powdered crap that smells like dirty socks.

I don't even remember what I was first going to write, since I didn't save the few sentences I had started before being interrupted, distracted, and yanked back into reality. I know, "Save often!" And, I do if it's serious writing, but when it's not, there isn't any sense in saving because I won't be able to pick up that thread of thought.

With all this reality getting in the way, it was only a matter of time before I had to let the excreta hit the thermantidote and try to get things back into some semblance of order. If you've followed my blog, you already know I have a new puppy; if you haven't followed, I have a new puppy. Anywho, Max is now fourteen weeks old, or three and a half months, and is doing pretty well.

He does pretty well if his routine and schedule aren't fubar, which they have been since last Thursday. I've been trying to get things as close to normal as possible but have not been getting much support from Max's other family members. It seems like there was a bit of a mutiny attempt. I know it's because I've spent so much time working with Max and giving him so much of my time. However, this was all discussed prior to getting a puppy; everyone knew it would be a lot of work and I was elected as the best person to take up the challenge.

Of course, it's not just family, there's a big change coming on the first of February and that's also created more demands on my time and more interruptions. I also made a devastating mistake by telling my neighbor that all the interruptions and distractions are driving me sane. (Yes I did say that right, being off my rocker, it makes sense)

Anyway, our neighbor is a pretty nice guy, but he's got this critical fault; when he hears something is upsetting someone, he can't help but also do something upsetting. So, while visiting last Sunday, it slipped out that all the crap going on was driving me stark raving sane. Now, he is adding his bit to the problem.

I'd throw in the towel, but Max would likely grab it and tear it up. Besides, I have a s***-ton of things to get done over the next week or two, if the front apartment opens on the first as planned. So, the only option available is to keep on keeping on, give it back as much as they give it, and keep my focus on what's important, my vegetable can list. I don't have time for a bucket list so I had to use an empty vegetable can...

January 19, 2023 at 11:16pm
January 19, 2023 at 11:16pm
Today has been another scrambled day, which is only fitting since it's been an out-of-whack week. I know life is topsy turvy and we never know what each new day will bring. Weeks and days like today really do mess with Max, however, and it makes training a bit difficult. He does well, surprisingly well, in fact, but disorganized days do affect him.

Monday school was out, so we had two teens distracting him. They do pretty well, but they can only resist a cute, new puppy for so long. It's not that they should, Max is a family member and it does him and them good to interact. Unfortunately, it seems they show up just as our training is getting going, or right when he gets relaxed and ready to nap.

My wife's aunt passed away earlier this week, so she left for the funeral this afternoon, which has him messed up. He looks forward to her return from work and spending some play time with him, which he didn't get today. Our daughters are adopted and did not know Dorothy and I only met her a couple of times, so I'm staying home with them and Max, who wouldn't do well with a puppy-sitter and wouldn't handle that long of a drive. It only makes sense, but I still feel bad not being there to give support and comfort to the rest of the family. Max seems to pick up on this as well; he doesn't understand it, but he picks up on it.

I'm a bit disappointed that we weren't able to go out walking for his leash training, it's been tough with the weather, and he needs a lot more time walking on a leash. I'm hoping tomorrow we can spend at least fifteen to twenty minutes walking, and maybe even get out twice.

On the bright side, since the day was messed up and his training schedule was altered, I decided to spend our school time (training session) teaching him a new trick, shaking hands. He struggled with it, but received a lot of love and praise, along with treats, even though I had to show him each time. After ten minutes of working with him, he was tired and getting bored, so we went outside and played a bit, then when he came in, he took a nap.

After he woke and we went out for him to go to the bathroom. It's our routine, when we come back in, for him to come over to my chair with me and do the tricks he's learned. First, he sits and gets a treat, then talks and gets another treat, and just a few days ago, learned to gently press his muzzle to my lips (kisses) for another treat. I thought I'd try and see if he would work a bit on shaking hands, so I told him, "Shake." He lifted his right paw and set it in my hand. Yes, he figured it out and does quite well for it being the first day with this new trick.

Tonight we had supper and then I took him out. He usually plays a bit before falling asleep around nine, but tonight he really fought going to sleep. He does this some every night, like a little child he just doesn't want to go to sleep and will try and do anything to stay awake. But, tonight was worse and I spent almost an hour trying to get him to lie still and relax. I'm sure it's because his "mom" isn't here.

Tomorrow should prove interesting since he gets up when she does, and she won't be here until later tomorrow afternoon. I'm going to stay positive and hopeful that we will still have a productive day. Fingers crossed and all that mumble-jumble.

January 18, 2023 at 3:05pm
January 18, 2023 at 3:05pm
Max just turned three months old last Saturday, and he's growing way too fast. Not in the meaning of faster than normal, he is right in his size and weight range for his age, but he is so much bigger than he was when we first brought him home. We put him on the scale the day after we adopted him and he weighed seven pounds. Saturday he tipped the scales at twenty-two pounds.

Training is going well, but it's a lot different training a Husky than it was with some of our other canines. He's very smart (maybe a bit too smart) and learns fast, but with his intelligence comes very strong stubbornness. He knows his name and comes all the time in the house, but when he's outside, he finds all sorts of distractions and will completely ignore me. I'm still trying to figure out a way to overcome this, and I'm hoping I can find some solutions online.

As far as tricks, he learned to sit first. It took all of one ten-minute training session. The problem is, once he learned to sit for a treat, he will sit before I tell him. Next, I taught him to talk, so if he sits before I tell him, I have a backup for him to do to get a treat. Again, one training session. His most recently learned trick is to give kisses. Not the licking, slobbery kind, but by pressing his muzzle to my lips. One session and he has it down.

The other task I'm working on is leash training. Because of the weather, as well as all the distractions, I started him in the house. He does pretty well for a short period but then get's bored with walking around two rooms. Today we took it a step further and walked outside to increase his time on the leash and to get him more accustomed to riding in the car.

He isn't very fond of car rides since it doesn't provide him with anything to do. Mostly, he rides along if I have to pick up or drop off someone or run to the store for an item or two. He rides nicely and is pretty well-behaved in the car, but he's bored. So, I thought if he went for a short ride to a place he could get out and investigate, he would start looking forward to riding. It also provided me with a small parking area to walk him.

There is a boat landing about a half mile from us, and since it's winter, it's not very busy. We walked the yard for a few minutes, then went to the car. He didn't like getting loaded into it, but did alright. He just stretched out on the seat as I drove over to the landing; I suppose he thought of it as just another car ride. When I parked he didn't get up, again figuring he was going to wait in the car. But, when I opened the door for him, he perked right up.

I put the leash on his harness and told him to unload, which he did even as I was telling him. He sniffed around and I let him pick where he wanted to go. He, of course, became distracted numerous times with all the new sites and smells, but he did respond to "Let's go" after a bit of coaxing. We walked the perimeter of the lot twice, and he was showing signs of getting tired, so we loaded up and I brought him home.

I'm thinking a few more times of his getting to explore on the leash and he will do fine, maybe he will even get excited and eager when I bring his leash out. Once we have this part down, I can start bringing him more places and start letting him get used to new people and hopefully some other dogs.

We still have two more phases of leash training to work on; getting him to pay more attention to me and him not pulling in every direction, but walking beside me.

January 11, 2023 at 4:40pm
January 11, 2023 at 4:40pm
I want to start woking walking my dog; good exercise for both of us. But, before I can take Max for walks, I need to train him to walk on a leash. I know leash training is difficult, I've trained a few dogs in my life, but Max is different. I employed the same techniques that have worked well with other dogs but up until today, Max would have nothing to do with the leash; he pulls back and drops with a look that conveys the message, "Leash me alone!"

Let's see, we brought him home kind of late on a Saturday when he was eight weeks old. I let him adjust to the new home and family for a couple of days, we did no training except some simple name association (his, not mine). From there we increased using his name and of course, introduced "NO!" and began using TPA techniques for his good behavior; Treats, Praise, and Affection are the best means to train anyone canine or otherwise.

I did put the leash on him at nine weeks and let him get the feel of it, but we didn't really walk at that point. He got hold of the leash and shook it like it was his mortal enemy then dropped to the floor and glared at me, leash still clamped firmly in his mouth. I tried every few days to put it on and let him get accustomed to the feel of it, but he would do the same each time. Over and over I tried to get him to adjust to the feel of being on the leash, and over and over he would try to rip it to shreds, drop as flat as he could, and glare at me, "Leash me alone!"

This Saturday, Max turns three months old and should be accustomed to being on a leash in a manner other than tearing at it and lying flat on the floor, so I needed to up my game. He had not been leashed this week until yesterday. I thinly sliced up a nice beef roast and put it in the oven to dry out (homemade beef jerky without any additives). I cut them into small treat-sized pieces and restarted the training again yesterday. We made a few steps by holding the yummy beef in my free hand and letting him follow his nose. Every few steps he was praised, and we worked for about ten minutes. Five of them he did good, five of them he tried to rip up the leash, but he did not drop like a rock.

Today, we again did some leash training. I had cooked up a steak for lunch, and I also cooked up a smaller one for Max. I ate mine, his was chopped up into small pieces and used to reward his walking on the leash. We did ten minutes again today. The first few he wanted to tear the leash up, but enticed with the steak, he walked pretty well. We will work a bit more before his supper after everyone is home so there will be no distractions. If he does well again, perhaps we will do another round a bit before bed.

I'm hoping that by this weekend he will no longer want to kill his leash and start walking well enough that I can take him on a real walk so he learns that it's fun to see the leash come down. No more, "Leash me alone!" But instead, "My leash, l getta go for a walk!"
January 10, 2023 at 7:23pm
January 10, 2023 at 7:23pm
As the title proclaims, this entry is about venting.

There are three types of venting:
1) To give free expression to.
2) Discharge or expel through an outlet.
3) Permit air to enter through an inlet.
These are simplified but describe venting well enough.

Actually, now that I've written this out, there is one type of venting, since number one is inhaling and then discharging some hot air to get something off one's mind: basically, the same thing as numbers two and three, permitting air, gas, liquid, etc... to flow in or out accordingly.

I'm venting in two directions. One is my lack of sleep last night due to the elevated temperature in our apartment, it was up to 80 degrees. In the other direction, I opened windows with an outside temperature of about five degrees to decrease the temperature inside.

Why did it get so damn hot? The answer is easy to explain, one word in fact; dingbat. You know, like Edith Bunker. Well, that's been a while, so maybe you don't know. we live in a duplex, two units side by side, or more accurately one unit in front and one in back. We live in the back, and since this area of Minnesota is wooded, I refer to it as, "We live back in the woods."

The woman who lives in front is the dingbat. Now, I'm not being mean or rude, she truly is a dingbat. She informed me a while back, that her ceiling was slowly getting lower, and wondered if ours was, too. I told her ours seemed to be fine. She then informed me that she had a spider plant suspended over her counters and that when she first put it up, there was a good foot (I wondered what a bad foot measured) between it and the cupboards. Now, just over a year later, there was maybe six inches between the hanging plant and the cupboards. Dingbat. Still not convinced? Last summer she wandered back onto our side and saw Hurricane, our chicken (yes we have a pet chicken we rescued, but that's another story for another day). She asked me what our turkey's name was. Dingbat!

So, anyway, Edith (name changed to protect the ignorant) is gone more than she's home. She turns the heat down when she leaves and then cranks it all the way up to heat the place up quickly when she returns. This is what she did last night.

Now, normally this wouldn't be a problem, but both units operate off one boiler, which is on our side. Yes, a boiler system; hot water heat. So, when she cranks the thermostat up to heat her unit quickly, it doesn't heat quickly, but the boiler runs constantly until her side does warm up. Meanwhile, the boiler is kicking out a lot of heat on our side and it gets hotter than Hades in here.

I tried to explain this to her, but she's a Dingbat and is trying to counter global warming and cut heating costs. For one, doing this with a boiler system does nothing to lower costs or diminish global warming. In fact, it likely increases both. For two, our heat is included so there is no cost accrued to either of us. But, there is no explaining this to her, she just cannot comprehend it. The landlord also tried to explain this to her but walked away shaking his head after she informed him of her ceiling getting lower. (I wanted to tell her it's from constantly adjusting the thermostat, but that she likely would have believed)

All I can say is, at times like last night, it's hot in here, too hot to sleep, so I need to vent. Vent out my despair of how dingy she is, and vent in some cooler air. There is an upside, I can actually relate to Charlie Brown feeling sick when trying to explain anything to Lucy...

January 6, 2023 at 1:15am
January 6, 2023 at 1:15am
It's been a while since I made an entry, so I figured tonight would be a good opportunity to make one. I've been busy training Max, my new Husky friend, and things are progressing well.

We did have a bit of a setback over the holidays, but only because the kids and my wife were home all week. Not that it's a bad thing to have them home, but for training a ten-week-old puppy, anything out of the normal routine is disruptive. Also, with the holidays, there were people over, parties to attend, and just a lot of hustle and bustle, all of which were disruptive to Max's routine.

I skipped out on a lot to devote my time to keeping things as normal for him as possible and to continue with at least a little of his training. He mustered through with just a bit more of his naughty side showing when things became too chaotic. Mostly, though, he just vocalized his disapproval.

The worst thing that happened was he got used to us staying up late. Like a young child, if we are up, he's not going to sleep. So, most nights he went to bed around midnight instead of his usual 8:30 to 9:00. Soon enough, he had his times all screwed up and it was very difficult to get his schedule back to our normal bedtimes. I found myself staying up waiting for him to finally fall asleep so I could put him to bed for the night (he sleeps in a laundry basket on my side of the bed).

I've been working all week trying to keep him from napping too much so he can go to bed on time at night. It's been a struggle, but last night he fell asleep around 9:00, and tonight, even though it was our regular chaotic Thursday, dozed off finally about 10:00.

He's coming to his name, even outside, and is chewing a lot less on things he shouldn't chew (except for me), he is doing well with his potty training. He does have some issues in the evenings with peeing inside but does good by using the pads we put down. He learned to sit yesterday and has retained the information and usually does well; sometimes I have to repeat myself a couple of times, but then he remembers, sits as he should, and gets his treats.

We have done a little work with him on a leash, but he has a long way to go. He doesn't fight it very often unless he gets tired and doesn't want to walk, then he just sits down and grumbles until I coax him a bit more with the promise of a treat. What's interesting, and I do not know how to change this behavior, is that when I walk with him on the leash, attached to either his color or his harness, he turns his head and grabs the leash in his mouth, and then walks with me.

I'm thinking, if he continues to do this, I may make him a six inch leash and let him walk himself...
January 1, 2023 at 1:05pm
January 1, 2023 at 1:05pm
The title wraps up the final week of 2022 -- Actually, it wraps up all of 2022! There should have been more of the good, like getting out camping, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and the fun stuff, but we did all right. I did some repairs on the camper which turned out great, I purchased an old Lund boat and did some work on that. It's in getting some rivets tightened and I'm looking at replacing or rebuilding the outboard for it, but I did get to use it a few times. (the first time I almost sunk; a story for another day).

There were bad times as well, but not as many or as severe as in other years. In looking back I find most of the bad has dissipated into that kind of gray that doesn't stand out unless a person digs through to find its roots. The worst thing last year was losing my beloved friend and canine companion so unexpectantly. But, she passed quickly and peacefully, so even that bad ain't so bad.

I'm looking forward to the new year, although I know there are no drastic changes with the flip of the calendar page. I'm looking forward to doing more camping, boating, kayaking, hiking, and all that fun stuff. I know these things will be different without Hannah by my side, but now there's Max who will also love (I hope) to do all these things with me. Although, once he's fully grown, it's going to be a bit more difficult to kayak with him than with Hannah who was mid-sized. We'll manage, when I first started kayaking, I had Klarissa, about 80 pounds of Golden and Yellow Lab sitting in a ten-foot Sun Dolphin with me.

I'm sure Max will do fine, but for now, there is a lot of work to do with him. He's now ten weeks old still teething, curious as can be, and just getting started in his training. He knows his name but still is easily distracted. Most days he comes after calling him a few times, some days I have to carry him back in. He is house broke about 80% of the time, but still has his accidents. Yesterday was the first time he pooped in the house in over a week, and he did poop on his puppy pad. (I tried combining his name with the pad things, but my family refused to let me call them Max's pads)

I have a harness fitted for him and have introduced him to walking on a leash. He has only walked with me a couple of times yesterday and I wouldn't need the harness, he holds his end of the leash in his mouth when we walk. Maybe I can teach him to walk himself this way... And then again maybe that's not a good idea.

Yeah, Max is intelligent, imaginative, and of course with those traits, a bit stubborn. He reminds me a great deal of Klarissa, who was just a tad too smart for her own good. It's going to be a lot of work, require a lot of time and patience, and I know I'll be putting my writing on the back burner (more like in the slow-cooker) for a while, but I don't mind. I love dogs and Max is showing signs of being an exceptional canine companion, given the training and work he needs.

What are my expectations for the next year? I'll take what comes, that's all any of us can do, but my mindset and plans are for More Good, Less Bad, and again, no Ugly.

May this next year be kind to all of us...

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