Oops!..not again??

With apologies to Britney Spears, “DRAT!..I did it again”!!

I was trying to cut Darling Doggie’s toenails this afternoon when I accidentally got too close to the quick and made him bleed.

I HATE that!!

The breeder who sold him to me claims a dog’s paws are a long way from its heart, and it won’t bleed to death.

But I’d rather cut myself — any day — than hurt him!

So I tried to stop the blood by putting a paper towel around his paw.

Didn’t work.

Then I wet one of those styptic pencils and gently applied it to the bleeding nail (which happened to be his dew claw, or thumbnail).

It slowed a bit, thank heaven.

I think what helped the most was letting him lick his own wound.

There’s “magic” in a dog’s saliva, you know.

Kind of like when a little kid gets a “boo-boo” and Mom kisses it away.

I didn’t have the heart to nip the rest of his nails.

Not after that.

So I put the grooming bucket away for another day.

And gave him an especially nice treat for being such a good boy and putting up with me.

He’s trying to nap now, but my heart is still aching.

Isn’t it amazing dogs can forgive us so readily when we humans get all bent out of shape at the slightest slights and hold grudges, sometimes for years, at those around us??

By the way, if anybody has a suggestion for making this toenail-cutting job “friendlier” for me and Darling Doggie, we’d BOTH thank you!!

Don’t Worry — Spring is Coming!!

I moved aside a big flower pot this afternoon and guess what I found?

Spring!!

Yep, a whole crop of daffodils and tulips have poked their noses through the ground (and the snow!), in preparation for their annual display of color.

It’s been a rough winter — everywhere. Mr. Groundhog (the one everybody listens to) says we’re going to have six more weeks of it. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of winter.

Tired of shoveling snow.

Tired of creeping along icy streets.

Tired of gloomy, gray days.

So let’s celebrate. Here’s the photo I took of the posies lurking beneath the warmth of a flower pot.

Spring is coming, and I can’t wait!

Daffodils and tulips in the snow

Bon Mardi Gras!

My Favorite Domer called last night to announce the Mardi Gras King Cake his grandmother had overnighted him arrived in splendid condition and was a big hit!

Now for those unaware of the tradition, a King Cake actually started in Western Europe before Christianity took hold. Eventually, it morphed into a celebration of the Magi and was brought to Louisiana by French settlers in the 18th century.

The cake features an oval shape and tastes like coffee cake or a cinnamon roll — with lots of sugar!

Bakers take the dough, roll it out, maybe braid it, then twist the ends together. Sometimes they add blueberries, apples, or cream cheese as fillings. They then decorate the top with table sugar in Mardi Gras’s traditional colors of gold (power), purple (justice), and green (faith). Some cakes feature glazed icing on top as well.

Double sugar!

Now it wouldn’t be a true King Cake if it didn’t have a tiny plastic baby inside (Magi, Baby Jesus — get it?)

Usually, bakers place this inch-long baby near the twisted-together ends, and tradition holds that the person getting a piece of cake with the baby inside is the one “crowned” king or queen for the day and must host the next King Cake party the following week.

King Cakes are never served outside of Carnival Season, which runs from Twelfth Night (the Feast of the Epiphany, 12 days after Christmas) through Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday, the day before Christians observe Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent).

Hundreds of thousands of King Cakes are consumed during this five- or six-week period in New Orleans alone! And that doesn’t include the number of cakes shipped throughout the country for displaced sons and daughters of the Big Easy (or those just wanting to get in on the revelry!)

I can’t imagine anyone wanting to bake King Cakes themselves, not when there are so many bakeries proficient at making them, but for those seeking a new challenge, here’s one to try.

Good luck and Happy Mardi Gras!

The Tax Man Cometh

It’s time to do my income taxes once again.

I don’t know about you, but I hate putting aside Web design or writing (or even just loafing!) to concentrate on credits and debits — even for a short period.

Must be the writer in me!

But tax preparation is a necessary nuisance — at least until somebody wises up and establishes a flat tax for everybody!

Late last year one of my friends showed me a software program that purports to help. You key in everything on a regular basis throughout the year, then when it’s time to visit your accountant (or do it yourself, if you’re into that), you print out a few pages and Voila! taxes done.

Simple, right?

Well, I bought the program, loaded it into the ‘puter, and fiddled with it a few times, but for the life of me, it just seems like going around your elbow to get to your thumb!

Now, maybe it was because I had a lot of other things on my plate at the time.

Maybe the “learning curve” was steeper than I anticipated.

Maybe it was just too cumbersome to enter a whole year’s worth of data at once.

That’s okay, I told myself. I’ll try again when the new year rolls around.

Here it is mid-February, and my data still isn’t entered.

And I want to be able to say, Voila!

So I’ll gather all my folders and notepads and receipts, separate them into a gazillion piles, add and re-add columns of numbers, and transfer everything to a single piece of paper for my accountant, just the way I always do.

It’s not pretty, but it works.

And I’m used to it.

And doggone it, I’d rather be doing something else anyway!

Procrastination

I think Procrastination is one of a writer’s biggest banes!

Take the first three days of this week, for example.

I had every intention of getting to my computer early, making some insightful revisions to my opus-in-progress, and coming away feeling — well, if nothing else, satisfied that the day hadn’t been for naught.

But did I?

Nope.

On Monday, I “decided” I’d rather play. So I visited all my favorite blogs (hang in there, guys — you’re doing great!), played lots of mindless games (like Mahjong and Who wants to be a Millionaire), caught up with LOLCats and Sporkle, e-mailed everybody I could think of, cleaned out my e-mail boxes when that was done, etc. Now in my defense, I did do a bit of Web Design work and talked to a few clients, but writing — no.

Tuesday rolls around and again my best intentions went by the wayside. I sorted through some stuff and filed papers that had stacked up on my desk, did a bit of research for one of my Web Design clients, played with a new Web Design program, and started gathering stuff for my accountant to prepare my taxes. All of this was necessary, but did I write? No.

By Wednesday, I was feeling ever so guilty at neglecting my writing that I had to sneak off and go shopping! I told myself that the work still would be there when I returned and it was — only then, I couldn’t string sentences together coherently. My Muse must have decided to go shopping, too!

So what does that leave me? Three “wasted” days. Three days when I should have been writing (or at least revising). Three days that, no matter how hard I try, I’ll never get back again.

Sigh.

Today I’m “easing” back into my writing by posting this blog and catching up on correspondence. I’m absolving myself from stealing a mini-vacation from my writing and resolving to focus intently on the work at hand, now that the cobwebs have cleared from my brain.

I’m accepting my humanity and excusing myself with James Norman Hall’s philosophy, “Loafing is the most productive part of a writer’s life.”

Any thoughts you’d like to share on beating procrastination?