Sunday, July 8, 2012

"The best laid plans of mice and men..."

Friday was one of those days where everything seemed slightly off.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, we found out that the puppy we thought we were getting wasn't going to be the puppy we were getting.  Hence the quote starting this blog post.  I'd rather not get into the details, so please don't ask.  J and I got the news in the morning and we spent the whole day in a sort of funk at our respective offices.  Then one of his Chinese friend's had a car back into hers (not her fault) so he went to help her navigate the confusion that is filing a claim.  It is a frustrating, whirlwind situation for someone who has lived here their entire life, so I can only imagine how I would feel if I got into an accident in another country.  Then I had a less than pleasant experience as I was locking up the office by myself at 5:00 PM.  It was just one of those days that culminated in overall frustration and weariness.

J and I talked about the puppy situation for a long time, and we decided that instead of passing up on a puppy altogether, we would consider one from a different litter.  We had gone to visit with blinders on, trying not to fall in love with any puppy but "ours."  Still, while talking to the breeder, we had a chance to hold a couple of other puppies.  One of those was a sweet, little girl from a different litter whose color I adored.  We decided on her.  She's a little bit older than the one we would have originally taken home.  Her mom was very sweet and calm, which I took as a good sign.  We briefly considered a boy, but J and I had our hearts set on a girl.  We will still call the new puppy Lily.  Some might think it is odd, since it is a different dog, but we've been calling a second puppy Lily since November, before either dog was conceived.  (I already have boy names picked out for future dogs, when we have a house with a yard.)

Here is a picture of the new puppy:

She is a blue Italian Greyhound.  She shares a lot of family with Ruby, even though they don't have the same parents.  If I understand it correctly, Lily's mom and Ruby are half sisters, so Lily is Ruby's niece of sorts.  When I shared this observation with J, he started singing "I am my own grandpa..."  He can laugh all he wants, I just wanted to be sure that we were getting a dog that will be healthy and pleasant like Ruby.  Now that I think about it, it is sort of funny.

Unlike when we went to pick out Ruby, both puppies were still so young that they had their eyes and ears closed.  So, while it was heartbreaking to get the news on Friday, it wasn't the same connection we had with Ruby, who was attentive and had a clearly developed personality: quiet confidence.

After our emotional flip-flopping Friday, I spent the evening watching episodes of The Big Bang Theory and Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog (DVDs from Netflix).  On Saturday J wanted to grill sweet corn and potatoes again, so we ran errands and he cooked.  I finished a book and updated my Shelfari page.  If you are looking for a way to track your reading, this is a great website.  You can sign in with your Amazon account.  If you want, you can sync your Amazon book purchases to Shelfari (I choose not to because I have bought some books for work that are highly technical and now Amazon thinks I am smarter than I actually am...).  You rate books, you can edit book information, write your own reviews, connect with book groups, and best of all- see how many pages you've read.  If you choose to join, feel free to "friend" me:

Yesterday night we went to Starbucks and I wrote four pages to a story that I've been thinking about.  I read it out loud to J when we got home, took his feedback into consideration, made some edits, reread it to him, and went to bed thinking about how to edit again.  I have had five story lines floating around in my head for months on end now.  I've been painstakingly plotting out one since November of last year.  I want to have it mapped out before I sit down and start writing, but sometimes I just want to write, so I am playing around with the other four stories in bits and pieces.  J and I are taking a free Science Fiction Coursera class starting later this month.  I hope to apply what I learn from that to my writing.

If you are looking for free classes to take, check out Coursera.  You have to participate in the class online and it is graded, but the courses are free and they have unlimited enrollment.  Unfortunately, you cannot get college credit for them.  A lot of the courses are for people in the fields of science and technology who might want to brush up on a topic without having to take college classes for it, so there are limited offerings for people who prefer the humanities, like me.  Still, it sounded intriguing.  I'll let you know how it goes once the class gets started.  I also signed up for an online writing class from Miami-Dade Community College.  I had to pay for it and I won't be getting college credits for this one, either, but at least I don't have to worry about my residency status, tuition fees, segregated fees, prerequisites, and competing for seats in a class.

I shouldn't get too ahead of myself though.  I can plan all I want, but sometimes life just changes the parameters and you can choose to adapt or you can change course altogether.  We decided to adapt to the new parameters and we still believe we are doing the right thing for Ruby.  We want her to have as much love and companionship as possible.  We are ready and capable to take on the responsibility of another little life.  Who knows?  Maybe this will end up working out for the best.  (And now Little Lily can come home on my birthday weekend instead of having to wait an additional week.  Happy Early Birthday to Me!)

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