Feliz Año Nuevo

  • No Comments

Today feels more like New Year’s Day to me than it did on January first. This is easily explained, as today is my first day back at work and the reality of 2014 is slowing sinking in.

Today was the first day back to old routines and old problems and that dratted alarm clock squawking at me at some unspeakable hour when even the sun doesn’t want to be disturbed in his slumber.

But here I am, back in the grind, wondering how I can keep myself stress free and high energy for all of the many days that lie ahead until my next two-week break.

As such, it’s time for me to turn my attention back to words and writing and the ol’ blog.

I thought I’d kick off the New Year by doing an update post, addressing many of the things we’ve chatted about over the past month or so.

Where to start?


Oh Fair New Mexico


Well, let’s be a little meta and start by talking about my little blog. March will mark seven years of writing words on Oh Fair New Mexico.

Total count (before this post) is 566,730 original words over 1,669 posts.

For the loyal readers, I give you a huge hug and lots of thanks for keeping up with the wild meanderings of my mind.

In the past I was able to consistently post every weekday, and did so for years. Lately that flow has slowed quite a bit.

Is it that I just don’t have anything more to say? Hardly.

The nature of my job is such that I rarely have a free second of time during my days. This job is high energy and decisions required moment to moment.

In my former gigs, I was able to write up a post over my lunch or while on a break. Now, when I eat lunch (at my desk, usually) I have a line of people out my office door wanting to chat.

I often hear “Oh she’s there!” outside my cubicle walls and an “Oh, are you eating lunch? This will just take a minute” when a face peeks around my doorway.

My employees are top-notch folks and I take working for them very seriously.

But dammit! Mommy needs some alone time!

I get quite frustrated sometimes over my lack of time. It’s something I’m working on in this new year.

I’m telling you all of this by way of saying that even if a week goes by and I haven’t posted something, don’t give up on me. I’m still here and I’m still writing.


750 Words

Nice segue. Speaking of writing, lately I have been getting a nice boost from a website named 750words.com.

If you ever read the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, then you learned the value of morning pages. Per Ms Cameron, morning pages are three handwritten pages about any topic you please. The intent is to help prime the ol’ pump and get the creative juices flowing.

I have done morning pages off and on for years and they sure help, but it’s easy for me to let them drop. They are kind of a pain in the butt sometimes, plus my handwriting sucks. Also, my hand can’t go fast enough for my brain.

Enter 750 words. The creator of the website did the math and figured out that three pages is, give or take, 750 words.

So it’s morning pages, online, with reminder emails and badges and statistics and fun.

Why I’m telling you this is because I have been working on words on that site and boy can I tell a difference.

Hopefully that difference will show up here on Oh Fair too.


The Feline

Just before Thanksgiving, I wrote a pretty sad post about my little fuzzy one.

She had just spent a weekend in the pet hospital and when we brought her home she was weak and quite skinny.

At the time, we didn’t think she would make it to Thanksgiving.

She did.

Then I was just certain she would not make it to Christmas.

She has.

So here I am on January 6th feeling pretty amazed that The Feline is actually doing ok. Through the wonders of modern veterinary medicine, she is not only ok, she has gained a little weight and is clear eyed and feisty and full of vim and is feeling like her old self.

It’s kind of amazing. The Feline will never recover from her ailment, what she has is terminal, but The Good Man and I now understand how to manage it. We got her steady and we have more time with the little punk than we thought.

She will be 15 years old in March, and now my hope is that she gets to celebrate her little cranky feline birthday.

Here’s a photo taken about a week ago. This was the first time I really realized she was feeling better and it’s become one of my favorite photos of her:




Copyright © 2014, Karen Fayeth



That Damn Chocolate Bear

You listened to my tale. You sympathized with my anxiety. You heard my cries.

The response was best summed up by a New Mexico friend:

“Snuff the Yogi.”

And I want to. Oh. I want to.

Here is the status of the Bear as of this morning.




Copyright © 2014, Karen Fayeth

He sits there, mocking me. He is in residence on the shelf set aside for snacks. During the height of holiday madness, that shelf was cram packed with delicious treats and he survived by cowering in the back behind the biscochitos and the sugar cookies and the See’s Candy and the rocky road treats made by The Good Man’s little sister.

After the piranhas had their holiday feeding frenzy all that’s left is that damn bear and a crappy candy cane.

Yes, people, I’m telling you that the bear is still intact.

I asked The Good Man, “What kind of maniac doesn’t eat a freaking chocolate bear?!”

He politely responded that since things have escalated, he will be seeking a safe house where the bear can be granted asylum.

He’s just doing this to torment me. He knows one day in the not too distant future I am going to tear the apartment apart and walk through that bear’s gold foil restraining order and tear him chocolaty limb from chocolaty limb.

Oh it’s happening.

Well there we have it. I think that gets us all pretty much current and caught up as of today.

I am through most of my first Monday back at work. All in, it was not bad.

Manageable.

Onward until tomorrow.

Feliz Año Nuevo my friends.

I just realized that it’s only two weeks until the glorious three day weekend of MLK Jr. day.

I can hardly wait.




All images © Copyright 2014, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons in the right corner of this page.




Because I Am Meaner Than You

  • 2 Comments

As time will do, when it passes by it takes little chunks of me with it. I know I wake up in the morning a lot creakier than I used to and there is swiss cheese where my remembering parts used to be.

This problem is true for both humans and animals.

And so it has come to pass that my fourteen and almost fifteen-year-old feline is having a few health issues. It’s not good, but it’s manageable.

What this means, however, is we have to give the fuzzy three different medications.

Now, this animal of ours, she does not like to be messed with. At all. The survival instinct is strong with this one, and fight not flight is her main mode.

This cat stands her ground and then some.

Many of you are probably saying, “nah, that’s just how cats are” and think about how squirmy your cat may be.

Be advised, our vet is scared of this cat. Let me drive that point a little farther in. A woman whose job it is to deal with animals in all forms day in and day out, and has been doing so for almost thirty years, has told us “you know your cat is especially wiggly, right?”

Wiggly. That sounds cute.

It’s not.

So back to these three medications. One is a drop we can put on a piece of food. Fine, that happens easily.

One is a pill. This involves prying her mouth open, which then invites a lot of biting, clawing and hostility. Occasional growling and meowing too. Once the pill is down many hostile looks are sent my way as I watch an animal plotting my death in her mind.

The third is an asthma inhaler. Delivering this medication is, to put it mildly, a rodeo. We watched videos online to see how to do this and every person who said “my cat fights it” or “my cats is extra squirmy” was the owner of the kind of cat I would love to have.

These people who think they have a wiggly cat have not wrapped an arm around Satan incarnate and tried to get the great horned creature to inhale and exhale a minimum of ten times with a rubber mask over its snout.

There have been times The Good Man and I have both tried to hold this feline beast down and administer the meds and haven’t been able to do so.

To be fair, my handsome and adorable Good Man is also a kind man. He’s a gentle soul, which is probably why he is able to put up with me.

He hates seeing his own cat suffer this much. He and that damn feline have been through a lot together, they are like survivors of the wars and he feels it is a betrayal to do this to her.

So the wet work, as they say, falls to me. May I point out the many scratches on my arms, legs and chest?

But I seem to have sorted out how to get the meds into the beast. I have tried many approaches and for the moment I have something that is working. I’m sure that smart cat will figure out a counter attack, but for now, I’m doing it.

Last night as I held that damn asthma mask on the cat and she was actually kind of still (because I had her in a wrestling lock that Rowdy Roddy would be proud of) and breathing, The Good Man looked on in amazement.

“How…how did you do that?” he asked, perplexed. “I don’t understand how you can give her the meds and I can’t?”

I replied simply, “It’s because I’m meaner than you.”

And it’s true.

As a woman of New Mexico, I have worked cattle, horses, sheep and pigs (and on one weird day, turkeys).

When you work livestock you learn more than a little about giving meds to an animal who would rather you didn’t. And how to do it without hurting yourself or the animal.

And how to grit your teeth and be a little mean about it because ultimately it’s being kind. I hope we can get this feisty cat to feeling better.

I have to admit, I admire her survival instinct. Now pass me the Neosporin.





What?!?!




Photo Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app.




Oh. It’s You Again.

  • 2 Comments

I see, well, as much as I asked you not to come, Mr. Monday, you have invited yourself into my life anyway. Fine. Harrumph. I know you feel you need to arrive here promptly every seven days, but rest assured no one here looks fondly upon your visits.

Why oh why can’t you be more like that beautiful boy Mr. Saturday? He’s always kind, generous and quite well behaved. I enjoy being in his company and revel in the smiles he brings. It’s so difficult after living in the sun and light that is Mr. Saturday to have to endure your sour puss face, Mr. Monday. I mean really. Can’t you arrive here with a little more class and grace?

You are all clanging alarms and car horns and rush rush rush after long glorious Saturdays of lazy fingers trailing in the lake and dandelion seeds on the breeze.

Ok, maybe if you can’t find it in your heart to emulate Mr. Saturday, might you perhaps try to be a bit more like Ms. Thursday? She’s still a work day but she comes with softer edges and kinder words. She still starts the day with a clanging alarm but her traffic is a little calmer and she doesn’t fill my email inbox with nonsense before 8:00am. She waits a little. Comes on a little less strong. Understands the needs and wants of the average corporate drone.

Shoot, at this point I’d take it if you would act a bit more like Ms. Wednesday with all her midpoint optimism.

But no, you Mr. Monday insist upon being a creep. A grump. A crufty ol’ toad and I, for one, don’t think that’s very nice.

Oh, you say you were quite kind to me on that last President’s Day three day weekend? Yes, that was true. Quite civil you were that day. You are nice exactly four times a year. Four nice government approved holidays that bring me you, Mr. Monday, wearing madras shorts, sunscreen, a big floppy hat and a rakish look in your eye.

The other 48 visits during the year you come on with a bad attitude wearing severe gray suits with sharp shoulders. Your unkind spectacles giving me clear insight into the horror of the week that lies ahead.

Why must this be so? Why can’t we capture the beauty and harmony of those four holiday Mondays more often? Loosen your tie a little!

But no, you feel you must be severe. And so I say…

Harrumph, dear Monday. Harrumph on you.








Image by user ltz and used royalty free from stock.xchng.




Things I Do Not Understand

  • 1 Comment

I’ve been on this big blue marble for a good number of years, and as I get older, some things make more sense, some make less sense, and then there are a few things I think I’ll never quite understand.

Last week was what I would call brutal. Ok, maybe brutal is too strong a word. My basic needs were met. My loved ones remained safe and sound, and also had their basic needs met. I got to and from work safely and even got paid.

But something really weird was happening last week. It all seemed to come to a head on Friday which is normally the greatest day of the week. A normal Friday flies by with ease from my late arrival to my early departures at work. If they call it stormy Monday, then the eagle flies on Friday.

Not this Friday. It didn’t soar like an eagle, it plopped like a cow patty.

Arriving at work in the morning I was bone tired. Sleep had not come easy over the previous four days. As I trudged to my desk I could only look forward to a happy hour birthday celebration that evening, then early to bed, and hopefully sleeping late on Saturday.

I had only one meeting on the calendar so I’d hoped to use the day to catch up, get on top of my to do list, and prepare for the week ahead.

Friday had other plans. Early in the day I was summoned to the manager’s office and informed that a particular project we’ve been working on has completely unraveled. Like…the thread on the sweater was inadvertently glued to the tail of a frightened rabbit thus unraveling not slowly but quickly and in herky-jerky motions.

As we were suddenly pulled into crisis mode, I was running around the office looking for certain people, finding certain documents, etc. As I sat in the manager’s office on yet another conference call, I noticed a small sparkling at the periphery of my eyes. Oh yay, an aura, the beginnings of one whopper of a migraine. Awesome.

Crisis mode + migraine + exhausted body + I’m still new here! = what a crummy day!

But wait! The day wasn’t done with me yet. Like a pitbull it clamped down with powerful jaws and refused to release.

I shot gunned some lunch as I ran to another meeting and another conference call and when that exhausting bit of work was through, I noticed something odd about my mouth. I had grit on my tongue. Oh awesome, I broke a tooth and still don’t even know how that happened. There is a huge chunk out of a back molar. Like a good little grownup I immediately called my dentist’s office and heard their message telling me that my favorite dental professional is out of the office until March 8th. Hooray!

Thankfully the tooth doesn’t hurt (so far) but it’s kind of sharp and annoying.

Finally, Friday saw fit to come to the end of daytime hours and around 5:00pm I got into my car feeling beaten, broken and sad. My office building is very near a crossroads of three separate highways, so getting onto the highway is always a little rough, and I have to endure about half a mile of cruddy traffic before I pick the highway I need and it opens up. Friday was particularly backed up and I’d not really ever seen it so bad.

Until I realized that a car had stalled right in the heart of the big interchange. In a location that impacted EVERYONE regardless of which highway they need to take. Double yay!

Let me remind, here, that this was just the details of Friday. The first four days of the week had been similar, so in the commute home on the last day of this hellish week, I found myself stuck behind a tow truck and of course no one would let me over. Honestly, I just about slipped off my nut. I came real close to just finally losing my tenuous grasp on reality.

I kept telling myself to breathe, to endure, to be resilient even as my resolve was being worn down by the big belt sander of life (which happened to be using the heaviest grit sandpaper available).

Quadruple Yay.

When I posted something on Facebook about Friday being a crummy day, I got responses from a few folks saying they had a bad day too. When I talked to friends at happy hour, they too said that Friday was especially bad.

What I’ll never understand is how this happens. How we all can be going along just fine then suddenly we all, every one of us, gets thrown a curveball low and inside.

I’m not much for big woo-woo type things, but is it something cosmic? The full moon and Mercury Retrograde and changing seasons all at once? Is the jet stream a little off kilter? Is it the long road until the next holiday day at work that has us all a little bent out of shape?

Hard to know, but I sure as heck don’t understand. A few people having a bad day seems pretty fat part of the bell curve kind of stuff. Everyone you talk to having a crumb-bum day seems like that cosmic belt sander is really working overtime.







Image by Wikimedia user Luigizanasi and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Canada license.




Can’t Even Fathom The Craigslist Ad

  • 4 Comments

On this beautiful bright late Autumn day, my friend Worm Girl and I went for our usual lunchtime three mile walk.

Between meetings and vacations and other distractions, it had been two weeks since we’d gotten together and there was much to catch up on.

As we strolled around the lagoon, we found ourselves tiptoeing about as there was a veritable minefield of goose poop decorating the walking paths.

“Oh my god,” I said as I shifted, parried and tip toed.

“No kidding,” she said.

Then we came across what was really just a large white splat. About as big around as a dinner plate.

“What the hell is that?” Worm Girl asked. “It’s like the bird ate a pack of sidewalk chalk!”

“I know, weird.”

And then we kept walking, leaving the chalky matter behind and discussing the kind of things two ladies discuss on a good brisk walk.

As we came around the backside of the loop, we saw a few groundskeepers doing their work. Not an unusual sight for a Monday.

But as we passed one guy, we both fell into silence, watching him.

He was on hands and knees with soapy water and a wire brush.

Scrubbing quite a few more of the chalky white patches.

After we were out of earshot, my friend said “Can you imagine…?”

And I replied, “Worst. Job. In. The. World.”

She said “How do you even list that work experience on your resume?”

“I know, I know…that guy is a saint, he really is. There is no way upon my boss handing me a wire brush and a bucket that I wouldn’t bolt from that gig.”

To be fair, the guy does all around work for the landscaping team and genuinely seems to like his job. He approaches it with a certain joie de vivre.

But to be honest, however crappy (pun totally intended!) I think my Monday is, it’s not that crappy.

Today I honor the kind of person willing to go to the mat, rubber gloves and scrub brush in hand, to make the world a little cleaner, a little nicer, a little more poop-free.




Just reloading here, boss.



Photo copyright 2010, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page.