Category: Pets

Update on Reboot Break

So I’m about a month into my reboot break, and am still trying to figure out the best routine. One thing I’ve noticed after going through notes that I’ve taken over the past couple of years—I need to try to find (or actually rediscover) my “voice” or who I am. I’ve realized that I’ve spent the past couple of years just drifting along, and when it comes to trying to answer personal/professional development questions such as “who are you” or “what is the difference between you and someone else for this role”—I can almost generically answer the first one, but can’t come up with answers of what makes me unique for roles. I realize that I’ve spent years blending in with my surroundings and trying to stay in the background unnoticed. This all comes from childhood and being a victim of bullying—not of which was physical, and I learned it was better to pretend to be invisible and blend into the background than draw attention to the situation.

While it is nice that I’ve identified the problem (my unconscious moves to blend into the background), now I need to work on breaking those patterns. I need to rediscover things that I enjoy doing (things that make me uniquely me), and then determine the best ways of weaving those hobbies into “transferable skills” for job interviews. I would say that I’m fairly confident that I should move R&D scientist down the list on interesting job titles (as it is more or less my comfort zone), and start trying to step outside of what I’m use to doing to see what grabs my interest in terms of the other possible job titles.

I’m thinking that the list is going to now look something like this:

            Health Economist

            Market Research Analyst

            Scientific/Medical Writer

            Market Communications Specialist

            Clinical Data Analyst/Manager

            Quantitative Analyst

            Patent Analyst

            R&D scientist (up to R&D manager)

Though the top seven are more or less fluid (I just rearranged a few from how I’ve previously listed them).

So this week is going to be spent getting back into a workout routine, spending some time practicing photography, puppy training (I adopted a puppy just before Christmas), reading, working a rough draft of everything that I would like to accomplish this year, and looking more into the above roles.

Once I remember (or better yet remind myself) of things I like to do, that aren’t related to work, I will be that much further on my path to finding the optimal industry position to transition into this year.

No Comments 101 Goalscareerjob searchingLifestyle Challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPetsPhotographyprofessional developmentRebootBreakReflections

2019: A Year in Review

So 2019 has come to a close, and now it’s time to reflect back on the year (with its ups and downs, hills and valleys).

This was the year that I decided that I needed to do some type of major shakeup career wise—this wasn’t to say that I was totally unhappy with my job—something needed to change though. I had decided that I would hopefully either transition into an industry position, or I would resign my position, take some time off to re-center myself and then refocus on my job search. I ended up going with option number two—my “reboot break” started shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday.

I’ve realized over the past few months that I’ve more or less been in a “coasting” mode for the past couple of years—never really thinking of where I want to be in five or ten years, just focusing on trying to get through the day and the week to the weekend. It’s hard to figure out the next direction to go in, when you’re stuck in the weeds with nothing but a slightly broken oar to propel yourself—you don’t get very far.

I’ve also realized that I’ve been trying to focus on too many different areas at once (health/fitness, finances, moving my career forward, and trying to find time to do crafts to balance things out), that I’m going to try to focus on just two to four areas (health/fitness and moving my career forward are tied for number one, and then it will probably be personal/professional development (tied for number two, and tied into both areas at number one), and then some time for crafts.

This was I can probably set up an monthly calendar easier with just those “three” areas instead of considering them four to five different areas. This should also mean that I have more ideas for blog topics throughout 2020 as well (which is one area that I felt that I didn’t push forward enough throughout the year).

In terms of health and fitness—I’m slowly making my way back to a routine that works for me. I will probably stick with the workouts provided by Beachbody, but figure out the best nutrition plan on my own. I know that I have a major sweet tooth, and instead of depriving myself (and ending up binge eating sweets), I allow myself some sweets and try to balance it out with more fruits and vegetables throughout the day. I’m pretty sure that there will be more posts on nutrition and fitness throughout 2020 as well, as I work to get into the best shape of my life (I’m thinking of some trip later in the year that would require me to be in better physical condition than I am currently).

We also adopted a puppy back in May shortly after mother’s day. My mom decided that it had been long enough since losing her dog, that she was willing to get a puppy. So we adopted a boxer mix, renamed her Rolex and it’s been a crazy ride ever since. Then basically a week before Christmas, I decided that I really wanted a puppy (I know that I will never be able to replace Chewi), so I went with my brother to the animal shelter and adopted a blue heeler/collie/shepherd mix. Now we have a period of adjustment—Rolex is a little jealous of the puppy (mainly the amount of attention that I’m giving him)—but I chose the right name for him—Chaos (since I was getting him right before the holidays—I knew that I was going to be bring chaos into the house). Now, as I start looking forward again on my job search—the position/location will also need to be puppy friendly (nearby parks and so forth).

In terms of personal development I managed to read nineteen different books (though several of them were challenge books—where you pick a topic and try to work on it for a month or so). Several of the books related to finances (mine are okay—which is why I’m able to do the reboot break right now), decluttering (something that I really need to do—both for myself and ease my parents into it as well), and then just some good old fashion self-care (reboot break, and being reminded that I shouldn’t be waiting for others to give me a ‘permission slip’ to live my life). I’m hoping that in 2020, I double the number of books that read in terms of both personal and professional development.

I had gotten back into doing oracle/tarot card readings for a good portion of the year (quit doing them the last few months), and realized yet again my pulling back was due in part to me trying to fit in to molds that I don’t belong (worry about what prospective employers might think if they come across my instagram account). But I was reminded with reading a couple of books last month that I shouldn’t be waiting on a ‘permission slip’ from others—it’s my life and I doubt that I would be wanting to work for any company that doesn’t value everyone’s spirituality.

I had wanted to travel a little during 2019, but those plans never came to fruition—either due to not having enough vacation time earned, the weather (one major “fear” earlier this year was being stranded somewhere due to the weather and losing money since I wouldn’t be working & would have used up all my vacation time), or just not being able to decide where I wanted to go.

Hopefully in 2020 there will be more travel—both for mental health (since I’ve realized it has been over a year since I’ve taken a vacation) and networking/job search/hopeful job interviews, or a combination of the two types.

So while there was some change in 2019—there wasn’t as much as I’d hoped for—but I did manage to plant the seeds for change (namely in quitting my job) to occur in 2020. As we head into a new year and decade I need to remember that for 2020 I’m going to focus on “grow (th)”, “change”, “achievement(s)”, and “success”.

And remember: Progress over perfection. I’m also going to remember to “evaluate the people in [my] life; then promote, demote, or terminate. [I’m] the CEO of my life”.

No Comments careerHealthjob searchingLifestyle ChallengesPersonal DevelopmentPetsprofessional developmentYear in Review

Photography Challenge Day 175: The younger two dogs

The winner of today’s photography challenge are the two younger dogs: Rolex (our box mix puppy), and Magnet (my brother’s dog).

Snoozing puppy usually means happy cats……

Magnet has been an off and on presence in the house, since my brother lives a couple of hours away and they don’t make it back that often (I mean who really wants to do a four-hour round trip drive constantly?). But since she is basically a year older than Rolex, that makes her the beta of the house (Boozer is the alpha, and when Magnet isn’t around—she is alpha and beta rolled into one). Problem is that the youngest wants to play almost constantly during the day and it wears on the other two dogs (especially her methods of playing).

Rolex and Magnet patiently waiting for dinner.

I’ve realized a few things over the past couple of months—I would love to get another dog, but until I have a solid plan in place for my future that has to be on hold. The second thing is that the overly playful puppy is going to be needing to learn how to walk on a leash—she does okay for a short distance, but when I took her for one walk around the block it was total chaos—so there is that training that needs to happen. It is something to look towards when the temperatures cool, and I don’t have to worry about heat stroke for either of us.

I’ve also decided that once things are in order and I move—a kitten first (since Pancakes doesn’t care for either of the younger dogs right now), and once that helps settle her in, maybe a puppy or an slightly older dog (say no more than three or four).

I know that Chewi and the others are watching from the rainbow bridge, and happy that we’ve moved on from mourning and brought another dog into the household.

No Comments PetsPhotography

Photography Challenge Day 173: International Cat Day (Short Post)

So since today is International Cat Day–it is only fitting that the winners of today’s photography challenge are the cats.

Pyewicket wasn’t too happy with the closeup……..

So we have three cats (all adopted from the local humane society). The eldest cat (by about a year and a half or so) is Pyewicket, our calico cat.

Then we have our “breakfast duo”: Waffles and Pancakes.

Pancakes, my black miniature panther.

We got Waffles and Pancakes within a few days of each other–Waffles was adopted first, and then I saw Pancakes picture on the site, and fell in love. It had been almost a decade since I had lost my first cat, Bigfoot (who was also a black cat–though he had more white on him than Panny does). Pancakes is my little cuddle bug at night, and in the morning. She loves to sit on my lap–and does a good job of reminding me when I spend to much time on the computer.

Waffles–sleeping on top of the cat condo

Not the best picture of Waffles, our Russian blue cat–but lately she has decided that the top of the cat condo is her spot to sleep (though that is where my cat usually likes to relax). This is our little troublemaker–she doesn’t like change (and lets you know), and isn’t above possibly starting things with the puppies.

I know find it funny that we’re in a “age reversal” with the animals–when we got the cats, we had several dogs, but they’re were all in their adult years. Now we got a puppy (and my brother got one last year), the cats are in their adult years and are acting like it. I swear if they could talk it would probably be nothing but “get off my lawn”, “turn the music down” and “in my day” from the cats to the pups.

I have realized that when I move–I will need to bring in a kitten (after a few months) so that Pancakes has company, and then after say another six months or so maybe get a puppy and hopefully that will all turn out nicely.

Happy International Cat Day!!! Do your cats and dogs get along all the time?

No Comments PetsPhotographyRandom Celebration Days

Photography Challenge Day 150: Woof Wednesday edition

So I decided that today’s photography challenge should introduce the newest member of the family. My mom had decided around Mother’s Day that she wouldn’t mind getting another dog. I might have had something to do with it–the facebook pages for the humane society in town wasn’t play fair and there was a very cute puppy posted. So we went and put in an application for adoption, and two days later got the call that we could come pick her up.

Rolex, sitting on the table staring at the birds.

So we brought home an 11 pound whirl wind that we named Rolex–since she was going to be our new watchdog. She has steadily been growing since we’ve got her–she is up to a solid 27 pounds, and I’m hoping that she tops out at somewhere between 35 and 40 pounds.

Rolex’s opinion of the weather.

We’re thinking that she is part boxer, due to the under bite she has and shows every so often. What the other breed(s) are–we have no idea. She is a runner, and loves running in circles through the backyard (and house) as fast as she can. Luckily there are squeaky toys to amuse her partially during the day, and old plastic water bottles.

I’ve been wanting to get a puppy myself, as I’m almost over the heartache of losing Chewi back in October. The only thing is I want to have my transition more or less already happening. I figured it would be better to get a puppy once I’ve moved and get the cat adjusted to her new living quarters. That way the puppy will be accustomed to living in an apartment (not having to deal with it knowing that it could always have the run of a yard, then having to get it adjusted to walks only).

But Rolex is slowly starting to help ease my depression over losing Chewi, Piranha, and Spelunkers last year. We’ve had her for a little over two months, and the months do seem to have flown by since we’ve got her.

No Comments PetsPhotography

Photography Challenge Day 108: Pyewicket (short post)

I’ve realized looking through photographs to share on my daily challenge, that most have been from my weekly walks at Boomer Lake. So I’ve decided to switch it up and go a different route–sharing a picture of one of the cats in the house.

Someone decided to give the smaller “condo” a try

So we had to replace one cat condo about two years ago (it’s amazing the damage that five cats over a course of 14 years can do to one). The one we have now doesn’t stretch all the way to the ceiling like the old one, but it has an additional cat condo on it. The funny thing is–none of the cats usually go in there. When they do–they look like Pye–wondering why something so small was purchased for them.

No Comments PetsPhotography

Fishy Friday: Photography Challenge Day 19

So one of the 30 day challenges that I think were in both of the books that I read last month was a photography challenge. Though I’m going to try to take it out to a full year (if not longer). One of the big tips from one of them, was to have taken more than one picture per day–just in case you come across a day that you either run out of time, or can’t find the inspiration for a photo.

So now I am trying to find inspiration for several photographs a day–this will probably work best on the weekends when it warms up and I’m doing my morning walks & outside more than what I am during the winter months.

One of the algae eaters and the shubunkin

So today’s photograph is of two of the fish in our large aquarium–the shubunkin and one of the algae eaters (I think it’s Cletus as it looks a little small to be Jaws). That is the only way that I can tell the two algae eaters apart (well also when I feed them–Cletus heads into it’s log to munch on the algae pellet), is their size. Jaws is just a little bit longer than Cletus. I think the fifty-five gallon aquarium is just the right size for two good size algae eaters and one decent size shubunkin.

One of the things that I will be investing in when I move is going to be an aquarium so that the cat can have her fish tv again–the algae eater in the smaller aquarium doesn’t swim around as much as these guys.

No Comments PetsPhotography

Caturday: Photography Challenge day 13

So today’s photo is a slightly throw back to earlier this week and the cats, since it is #caturday after all.

Pye sitting in the remains of a box.

So Pye has rediscovered a enjoyment of boxes (be they intact or the remains of one). This is the remains of a box that we were using as a fire starter during one of the many cold snaps that we’ve had–but once it got to a point where the cats could “hid”–they took over the box.

Pye in particular has marked the box as hers–she will sit in the corner of it in mornings, or the evenings (or basically any time that she wants). The other cats will sniff the box, but they usually won’t sit “in” it, like Pye does.

But it is nice to see that all three of them have their own little personality quirks–Pye is boxes, Waffles likes sticks and leaves that the dog brings in from the outdoors, and Pancakes likes hair ties and the crinkly plastic that wraps around things (she can beat them up for hours).

What quirky things do your cats play with?

No Comments PetsPhotography

Science Sunday and photography challenge day 7: Cat’s whiskers

Decided that today was going to be a two for one post: a new photo and then some of the science behind the topic. So I decided for the first double Sunday post, it would be on cat’s whiskers.

Pancakes’ long whiskers around her nose.

Most of us think of the cat’s whiskers as the pointy hairs on their faces (namely around their muzzle), but they can also have on other areas of their bodies such as their ears, around their jaw, and their forelegs. These hairs are actually called vibrissae and are used as sensors in their day-to-day lives.

When a cat brushes up against an object their whiskers allow them to determine the texture of the object, its location, and size—and it doesn’t matter if it’s light or dark around the cat.1 They’re also extremely sensitive, which makes sense if they’re sensory organs and have a higher supply of nerve endings and blood to the area. I know for a fact that my cat doesn’t like to drink from the water bowl if it’s too low as it presses against her whiskers.

They can also serve as one of the many emotional barometers for cats (along with ear and tail positioning).  For example in the picture, Pancakes’s whiskers were standing out sideways, meaning she was relaxed (and totally use to me taking pictures of her—though she was still giving me a dirty look—probably for waking her up). Though if the cat pushes their whiskers forward this could mean they’re excited, and if they’re flat back against the their cheeks, it mean they’re scared or extremely irritated.2

Have you paid attention to the directions of your cat’s whiskers?? How often are they forward or flat against their cheeks?

References:

  1. https://www.livescience.com/44196-why-do-cats-have-whiskers.html
  2.  https://www.catster.com/cats-101/cat-whiskers-facts
No Comments PetsPhotographyScience

Caturday: Photography Challenge Day 6

Someone enjoys being on my lap on the weekends.

So in honor of caturdays (or Saturdays for those without cats), I decided I’d share another picture of one the cats of the house.

Pancakes always seems to know when I’m working on my laptop, and I’d say about eighty percent of the time she will try to push my laptop off my lap. Luckily I work on a daybed, so the computer would be landing on something soft. I’ve also learned how to twist to the side, perch the laptop off to the side and type that way. But she is my cuddly little miniature panther.

She also has a habit of burrowing under covers during the day to sleep in the dark and stay warm at the same time–it’s actually quite cute to watch her decide which bed, then which end of the bed and then she will stretch, and climb under the covers and either curl up or stretch out to snooze away the day. She’s starting to gain the nickname of “lumpy” as well as panther, panny, pansy, and pan-pan to name a few.

What are some of the nicknames you have for your pets?

No Comments PetsPhotography