blog news, technology

My mind is a blank today…

I fear today’s post will be short. I can’t think of anything to write about now. I’ve spent the morning updating various apps, peripherals, and other assorted shit that is supposed to make my life easier. I’ve rebooted the Internet at least three times. And right now, I’m afraid I just want to get away from my computer until a compelling topic comes to me.

The dogs need a walk, but it’s so cold and damp outside. I’m also waiting for yet another Amazon delivery. I got new smart light bulbs to use in the two lamps that don’t yet have them. Those will arrive today, along with a bottle of citric acid, which I use for cleaning lime stains. I also ordered another Echo Dot for our entertainment room.

Tomorrow, I’ll get new storage canisters for things like grits and cornmeal. Why? Because I’m tired of feeding the moths that take up residence in the cupboard because we don’t use our staples fast enough.

I’ve been trying to learn about the new HomePod Mini I bought that arrived yesterday. If you read today’s post on my travel blog, you already know how that’s going… Suffice to say, I think Amazon has done a better job with home assistants than Apple has. For some reason, I cannot, for the very life of me, get my new Mini to sync with the existing HomePod. I’m sure there’s a trick to it, but I haven’t discovered it. I’m getting tired of trying.

I put a plugin called Yoast on the blog recently that turned out to be more trouble than it’s worth. It had me changing my writing style, making the process of blogging more difficult than it needs to be. The app had red indicators that made me feel negative… like I had to appease them before I could post my content. That, to me, is not what writing is about. I enjoy the process of writing, most of the time. But if I have to satisfy a bot before posting, then it’s a lot less fun for me. So I just deleted Yoast today. Sometimes, I need to write longer sentences and paragraphs. Sometimes using passive voice is best for certain situations. And sometimes, I want to start a sentence with the same word. It’s a matter of style.

I do have a book I need to finish reading… and the weather is kind of perfect for it. So is my mood. So I think I’ll fuck off of the blog today and do some reading. At the very least, maybe I’ll have a fresh book review to write. I just don’t feel like posting about my usual topics today. I’m stuck in a rut and need a change. I’d settle for a nice weekend away, so I can post something on the travel blog worth reading. Bill and I are hoping to go somewhere soon… A lot depends on Arran, our senior, scrapper dog with cancer who badly needs a dental. 😉

Maybe I’ll be back later… maybe not.

The featured photo is of the pool at the Upper House hotel in Goteborg, Sweden. It has a glass bottom and juts out from the building, some twenty plus storeys up… I could use a swim out on a ledge. It might make things more interesting.

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animals, dogs, music, pests, songs, videos, YouTube

Getting rid of “Flea-loaders” with an old fashioned Avon product…

This morning, I ordered a bottle of Avon’s Skin So Soft. I don’t usually use this product, but thanks to the pesky hedgehog who has made a home in our backyard, I feel compelled to buy it. I woke up this morning with a rash around my neck, and I’m pretty sure it came from fleas on the hedgehog and her baby. Hedgehogs are notorious for having fleas.

Arran has been messing with the hedgehog ever since she showed up on August 1, and sure enough, he did get fleas. Now, these aren’t the usual fleas that infest dogs and cats. These are hedgehog fleas, which supposedly can’t infest pets the way they do hedgehogs. The fur on dogs and cats is too soft, or something. However, these little beasts do bite, and while Arran isn’t covered in them, I know that he brought a few into our house. In fact, when he was at the vet’s office last Friday, the vet was looking for an actual infestation. She didn’t find one, but then a flea jumped off Arran’s head. The tech managed to catch it, and they killed it so they could look at it under a microscope. Maybe that’s where Arran’s swollen lymph nodes came from. The vet did tell Bill that Arran’s hormones are fine. I actually hope the swollen nodes are from fleas… because the alternative is probably cancer.

Today, I’m also washing all of the bedding. I needed to do that anyway, and often do it on Wednesdays, but thanks to the blood sucking little fuckers Arran brought into the house, it’s necessary to be aggressive. Both dogs have been treated for fleas. Ordinarily, I would be giving them oral flea preventative as a matter of course, but since Arran is old and has had mast cell tumors, I try not to give him products that might encourage tumors to form. He only gets the most basic vaccines now.

It’s finally raining, which is a huge blessing. We need the rain desperately. I’ve been really delighted to see the grass starting to grow back in our yard. I even used the lawnmower for the first time in weeks a couple of days ago, because there were patches of grass that were looking unkempt. The cooler weather will help get rid of the fleas. The hedgehog will also be going into hibernation soon, if she hasn’t already.

I haven’t had to deal with fleas since the 1980s, before dogs routinely got flea and tick preventative. Our dogs used to get them every summer, and my mom would obsessively find and kill them with her bare hands. I would give the dogs baths to get rid of a bunch of them at once. I gave our dogs baths a few days ago, and all that came off of them, besides a little dirt, was lots of undercoat. Arran, especially, had lots of loose hair coming off.

So how did I know about the wonders of non-toxic Skin So Soft? It was thanks to my days riding horses. My old riding coach used to buy the product to use on the horses. I couldn’t put it on my horse, because he was allergic to the oils in it. I had to use special fly spray on him. However, I do remember my folksy riding teacher talking about how effective Skin So Soft is for getting rid of biting flies, mosquitos, and other insects. A quick Googling told me that the product will also work for fleas. Some people like the way it smells, too; however, I find the scent basically pleasant, but kind of cloying and sickeningly sweet. I will be able to tolerate it, though, if it means the fleas don’t bite me anymore.

There are, of course, more important things I could be writing about today. Lots of news stories that are blogger worthy have popped up on my radar. But I’m just not in the mood to write about such things today, because I’m irritable. Itchy rashes have a way of doing that to a person.

Remembering about Skin So Soft reminded me that sometimes, even the carefree pursuits of childhood can prove useful in the future. I probably would not have known about Skin So Soft if not for my horse crazy days. My mom didn’t use Avon products. In those days, you had to have a supplier. Now, you can just buy the stuff on Amazon. They even have it in Germany, so I won’t have to get it through the APO system.

In other news, I decided to make another music video yesterday. I had wanted to do it last month, when Olivia Newton-John died, but I was having trouble getting the vocals right. It’s not a lyrically challenging song, but the key is right at the part of my voice that goes from chest to head, so it can be hard to be accurate with my pitch. I’m a stickler for pitch, so I held off on recording. Then, when the Queen of England died, I decided it was time to give “Grace and Gratitude” another try. I managed to do it yesterday, complete with harmonies. Took me about two hours from recording to making a simple video.

This song comes from the album, Liv On, which Olivia Newton-John made with Beth Nielsen Chapman and Amy Sky in 2016. It’s a very comforting album, especially when a person is experiencing loss. So anyway, here’s my take on “Grace and Gratitude”. I don’t think it turned out too shabbily. I used photos from last fall’s trip to Slovenia, which was combined with our first proper visit (as opposed to a joyriding day trip) to Croatia. Both places are insanely beautiful. I hope to visit again soon.

I really enjoy making music videos… They usually aren’t controversial, and I almost always find singing relaxing.

Just in case anyone wants to know which product I bought… And if you purchase through the Amazon link, I get a small commission from Amazon. But there is certainly no pressure. I’m just sharing the link to be helpful to those who are suffering like I am.

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