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a little pissed off right now

I order a LOT of stuff online.  Where most people check out stores for stuff they need, my first reaction is to hop online and see if I can find it.  The result of that is that I receive a lot of packages, so I’ve gotten to know the shipping companies pretty well.

There are three companies that are most commonly used (in my area at least):  Fedex,  UPS, and USPS (the post office).

Both Fedex and UPS are great.  They are fast, reliable and on time.  I get most of my packages in 3 or 4 days no matter the size or where they are shipped from.  If they say your package will be delivered on X date, it will be delivered on that date, if not sooner (the only exception I’ve found is extremely bad weather).  They have tracking information that is up-to-date, down to the minute (I once checked a UPS package and found it had been delivered one minute earlier).  UPS will even will put your box into a plastic bag if there is supposed to be rain or snow!  In short they do exactly what they are supposed to.  Every single time.

The Post Office on the other hand is terrible.  For a standard package it takes 7 days for me to get it.  Only on rare occasions will I get it quicker, quite often it will take longer.  They don’t take care of the packages, and quite often they come banged up, not enough to damage the contents, but still damaged.  And they have no respect for weather (this could just be my local carrier though).  I once found a package thrown onto a snow bank next to (not in front of) my door, and it had snowed since then and completely covered it.  The only way I found it was because I thought that it would be delivered that day and I rooted around in the snow just in case it was in there.  Their tracking information is terrible.  Quite often I’ll check after I receive a package to find that they only list three lines (even if shipped across the country):  1 – Electronic Information Recieved  2 – Packaged Arrived at Facility  3 – Delivered.  Quite a bit of missing information, don’t you think?
And, if all of that wasn’t enough, several times in the past year alone they have totally miss-routed my packages!  One time it was shipped from Illinois (I live in Wisconsin) and some how it ended up in MASSACHUSETTS!!  Where it preceded to sit around for another week or so (because they didn’t know what to do with it I assume), until they shipped it back to ILLINOIS and then finally to me.  Over all it took 2-1/2 or 3 weeks for me to get my package.
FROM ONE STATE AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Last week I placed an order with Amazon (which is my favorite place to shop, I even have their credit card which gives me money back to spend at Amazon 🙂 ).  I got my “your order has been shipped” email today (just a few minutes ago in fact).  Guess who they used?  That’s right THE POST OFFICE!

If they mess this one up I will totally loose it.  I can guarantee you that I will write both Amazon and USPS and tell them in no uncertain terms how pissed off I am!

Isn’t it bad that when I find out that something is being shipped by the post office that I feel like I have to cross my fingers that it gets here on time and in one piece?

Now it is quite possible that everything will be fine.  That my package will arrive with no damage and on time (one week from now, but still on time).

Keep your fingers crossed.  Say a prayer or two.  Wish on a falling star………

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2009 in Misc Stuff

 

looking ahead

I’ve been feeling pretty quiet and private lately.  I haven’t been feeling like writing much.  But I have been doing some deep thinking.

I’ve made a list of stuff that I want to change in my life.  I don’t want to call them “goals” because I hate that term, but these are things that I really want to make a point to accomplish, not just this year, but for the rest of my life.

Here it goes:
1 – make a meal from scratch at least 3 days a week  (and freeze leftovers)
2 – find a healthy snack for work  (so I stop going to the vending machine!)
3 – clean out the small bedroom and reclaim that as my reading/meditation/altar room
4 – plan a full moon & solstice ritual, even if it only takes a minute or two
5 – meditate every day for at least 10 minutes
6 – do yoga at least 3 times a week  (maybe even every day after work!)
7 – continue learning/practicing reiki, find a way to use it more often
8 – do the dishes every day and not let them pile up until I run out of dishes  😦
9 – pay the bills when they come, not when they are a couple days past due
10 – keep the house clean and deal with stuff rather then just letting it pile up
11 – actually plant the flower garden that I’ve been planning for the last 4 years
12 – keep at training my dog Lola, and not get lazy and let her do whatever she wants
13 – continue to find new products & habits that are easier on the planet and bring me closer to nature

As you can see that is quite a list.  But these are all things I’ve been wanting to do.  I tend to have the attitude of I’ll just skip today and then that day becomes two days, which becomes a week…..
But I really, really want to do all of those things.  It will just take lots of stubborn determination to keep doing it until they become habit.  And I am nothing if not stubborn.  😛

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2009 in Life Changes, Spiritual

 

Updates

I did a much needed update to the Dragon Cave Breeds page.  I added the Autumn, Winter and the new Christmas “Yulestag”.  I even got the image for the hatchling (without wings) for last year’s christmas dragon (can I just say that I was kind of disappointed that I wasn’t able to get that dragon this year. I like the new one, but I was so looking forward to getting the old one).

I didn’t add the the Vampire dragon because the images are still on my old computer, which I didn’t quite feel like dragging it out at the moment.

I’ll try to be better about keeping it updated.  I tend to remember to updated it while I’m at work, but by the time I get home I totally forget.  So just try to be patient with me ok?

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2009 in Dragon Cave, EbN Site Stuff

 

Yule 2008

Most people (even non-pagan people) have heard of Yule, or at least something associated with Yule.  Like the Yule Log, or that song that sings: “Spread the Yuletide Cheer….”  but most people don’t know exactly what, or when, Yule is.

Yule is another name for the Winter Solstice, which is the day with the shortest amount of sunlight of the year.  Yule doesn’t have an exact date, it’s whenever the actual solstice falls, but it tends to be between the 19th and 23rd of December.  This year it is on the 21st.

Yule is the origin of alot of our current christmas traditions.  Like decorating, a christmas tree, and even presents.  Those are all Yule traditions that christianity stole to try to “combine” the two holidays.  (they did the same with easter, but that’s different story for another day)

The christmas tree began as a pagan tradition.  Pagans would decorate an outdoor tree with food for the animals.  Some even used shiny or scented objects to attract the animals.  It was a time of giving back.  Not by giving to other people, but giving back to the animals we share our planet with, during the time when food is hard to come by.  They recognized the necessity of everything in nature, and this was their way of trying to help that balance.
In our current times we cut down trees made of pine and spruce and bring them in our houses to decorate them.  Some people still use edible things like candy canes, gingerbread men and popcorn.
Few christians know how this tradition started, and most would be outraged if they knew that their christmas tree was actually a pagan tradition, and has nothing to do with the birth of christ.

Yule (along with the summer solstice Litha) is a big turning point in the year.  Even though it is the beginning of winter weather-wise, it actually is the turning point to getting warmer.  From here on out the days start getting longer and that eventually heats up the atmosphere and brings spring.
That phrase “it’s darkest before dawn” is kind of parallel.  Even though you would think that it would be darkest (and coldest) when the sun is shining on the exact opposite side of the planet (the mid-point between our sunset and sunrise), it doesn’t actually work that way.  The darkness and coldness of the night has an accumulative affect, which leaves us in the darkest and coldest time right before the sun rises.
Our seasons work the same way.  The Winter Solstice (Yule) is the point where the northern hemisphere is tilted in it’s furthest position away from the sun.  But even though from this point on our north pole starts tilting back toward the sun, our coldest weather isn’t until right before the “dawn” of spring.

I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel better!

So have a happy holiday, and go spread some of that Yuletide cheer!

Blessed Be!

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2008 in Pagan, Sabbats

 

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Catnip Experiment – Week 10

Preparation:   I made up a batch of Baking Soda (2 TB in 2 cups of warm water)  and a double batch of Catnip (2 tsp in 2 cups of boiling water).  I made up the catnip an hour or two before my shower and then strained it and split it into two parts, one to use right away and one I put in the fridge.  It was still warm when I used it.

Routine:   I poured the BS on my hair and massaged it around for a few seconds and then rinsed it out.  Then I poured the catnip on my hair and left it in for a few minutes and then rinsed it.

Results:   Pretty good hair.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good!  It’s still a little on the dry side, but only slightly.  And my hair is normally a little dry in the winter anyway.  And it was much better once I used Coconut Oil.

Comments:   I’ve been trying to duplicate the great results I got several weeks ago.  After last week I thought that the cause was leaving it in the fridge.  But I didn’t do that this week (even though I ment to) and it still turned out nice.  So I’m thinking that maybe it does better warm.  I believe I warmed up the good batch after I took it out of the fridge.  It could be that I’ll get the best results when it has been in the fridge for a couple days and then warmed up before I use it.
So next week I’ll take the second half of this week’s batch and warm it up first.  If I get awesome results then I’ll know that I need to make it several days ahead and then heat it up before I use it.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2008 in Catnip for Hair

 

Lola – Weeks 2 & 3

Things aren’t going as well as I had hoped.  Over all Lola is still a pretty good dog, and she has definately improved, but she is really used to getting away with stuff and she is constantly trying to push my limits and see if I will catch her in it.  Like jumping and pulling on the leash and “little” stuff like that.  At one point this week I really wanted to get my hands on her previous owners and just strangle them.  It is obvious that she is smart, and that she learns pretty quick, but she does need a firm hand.  Otherwise she will just run all over you and do whatever she wants.  But if someone had taken the time when she was young to teach her she wouldn’t have all these bad habits.

Part of the problem is that it is so cold out that she isn’t able to go outside and play like that first week.  This morning it was in the single digits.  So we’ve pretty much been just going out for potty breaks and a really quick walk at night.

I think I’m going to have to find something to do inside to get all of that energy out.  I’ve heard that training tires them out almost as much as “physical” exercise.  So maybe I need to just do something like that.

I’ve come to the realization that I really need to use treats as rewards more often.  Even though she showed initial response with just a vocal command, she now tends to ignore them if she wants to.  It’s been frustrating because she knows what I want, but she just doesn’t want to do it.  Like she knows how to sit on command, but now she’ll only do it when she wants to or with a reward (although I don’t even have to tell her to sit when it’s time to go outside, she just does it automatically).

So for the time being I think I need to carry treats around and use them every time I want her to do something.  Because until she understands that when I tell her to do something, sit for example, that she needs to do it when I ask, not the tenth time or when I force her to.  Until then I’ll need to bribe her to do it.  And I’ll have to do it every single time.
I can understand some of it, like when we are outside and she doesn’t want to sit on the cold ground or snow.  I get that, and I’m not asking her to put her butt all the way on the ground, but she needs to at least attempt to do what I ask.

Dealing with all of those little things is really tiring.  More mentally tiring then anything physical.  The good thing is that she falls asleep at about 7 or 8 at night, but by that time I’m just totally exhausted from continually telling her “off!” or “no don’t do that” or “stop pulling!”.

I think in eventually she’ll be a great dog, once she learns that I won’t let her get away with bad behaviour and she gets over all this puppy energy, but until then I think I’ll be pulling my hair out on a daily basis.

 

Sebastian has been doing better.  He still won’t come out by himself when Lola is out, but if I bring him out and put him on the back of the couch (his favorite spot to hang out) then he is fine.  Some times he will even stay out when I take Lola outside rather then making a mad dash for the bedroom right away.  He’s even taken to stretching out and falling asleep on the back of the couch.  So that tells you how relaxed he is, or how trusting he is that I will protect him.  He is still sometimes scared if Lola is running around or doing something active, but he doesn’t run he just watches with wide eyes.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2008 in Cats, Dogs, Pets

 

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Catnip Experiment – Week 9

Preparation:   I made up a batch of Baking Soda (2 tsp in 2 cups of warm water) and a single-use batch of catnip (1 tsp in 300ml of hot water).  The Baking Soda basically looks like cloudy water, but it seems to work at this concentration.

Routine:   I poured the BS on my hair starting at the back, and massaged it around until I was sure I had gotten everywhere (maybe 30 seconds?) and then I rinsed it out.  Then I poured the catnip on, again starting in the back, and left that on for maybe 5 minutes and then rinsed it out.

Results:   Icky.  My hair is dry (but not overly so) and has lots of fly-aways.

Comments:   The only difference between last week’s great results and this week’s bad ones was that I made up the catnip the day that I used it this time.  Last week I made it up wednesday and kept it in the fridge until I used it on sunday.
So I’m going to make up the catnip ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.  Hopefully that’s all I’ll need to do to get consistantly good results.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2008 in Catnip for Hair