Thursday, November 1, 2018

NaNoWriMo 2018

Here we go again.
What am I thinking doing this again?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Kitten Grows (but is still cute)

Dusty at 6 month old. Photo by Kara Hartz

Monday, October 8, 2018

Thoughts on Couch to 5K Week 5 Day 3

I'm back at the Couch to 5K program. I think it was the same day my surgeon gave me clearance to start exercising again, i went out for the first session. I was told to take things slow and gradually though, so I've been doing most sessions twice before moving on, thus turning the 9 week program into closer to 18 weeks. But that's all fine.

I just finished week 5 day 3. For those familiar with the program, this is the first really big day with no walking breaks. 20 min of jogging. Giving up the walking intervals is intimidating. I was doing some reading about the program, and read that this is the most common spot that folks will quit. The reason I was reading about the program was that I found it strange that this particular session happened at this point in the program, because week 6 day 1, the next scheduled session, has walking breaks back in again. Why would they do that, I wondered? Once you can do a run with no breaks, why go back?

My jogging trail. Photo by Kara Hartz
I don't have an authoritative answer, but the most common theory I came across it one I think I agree with. I was very nervous going into the week 5 day 3 run. I was worried I wouldn't make it all the way to the end. Because I'm taking things slow though, I figured I would just try again if I didn't make it. At the same time, I really didn't want to have to do it all over again, so I planned to try my best to get through. After that, I'd get my breaks back and I could go along happily. That, in a nutshell, is the theory about why they schedule it the way they do. If the walking breaks ended, and looking ahead at the rest of the program I saw that there would never be any walking breaks ever, my nervousness would have been much worse. I might have decided to stay at week 5 day 2 indefinitely, or until I felt 'ready' to move on. I might have quit.

It seems to be a psychological hurdle more, or at as much as, a physical one. Believing you can do it, and that it'll be okay is one of the main challenges of week 5 day 3. Knowing you just have to get through the one time, and you'll get walking breaks again helps with the mental battle you have to deal with. Really, the walking breaks don't last much longer. By week 6 day 3, they are gone for good. They last just long enough to let you know you can do a jog without breaks and you'll do fine, so when the walks are gone truly gone, you do feel ready.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Mouse

Our kitten, panther, who recently turned one year old has a favorite mouse toy. It used to be Meeko's favorite mouse toy, but when Panther arrived, one of the first things she did was tear the feather tail off it, and ever since he has ignored the thing and it has been hers.

Panther's mice toys. Photo by Kara Hartz
It reminds me of how attached a child gets to a favorite object. She has all but destroyed the mouse. Perhaps if I hadn't told you it was a mouse, would you have been able to tell? The feather tail is gone, as I already mentioned, and the seams have been ripped open, and most of the stuffing is gone. The threads embrodering the face are a mess, or missing is places. Yet she still loves it.

Sometimes she knocks it under a piece of furniture, or behind something, or whatever, and can't get to it. Later, sometimes weeks I believe, we will come across it and give it back to her, and the sheer delight on her little kitty face is amazing. She plays with extra joy when she gets it back. This isn't to say she will never play with any other toy, but there is no doubt what her favorite is.

Also, like a child though, she will accept no substitutes to her lovey. When the stuffing kept coming out I worried about the mouse. I happened to be at the pet store buying her food and thought I'd get her a new one. I bought the pink mouse also in the photo. They didn't have anything exactly like her older mouse, but this was similar in size and fabric to the original, so I thought she'd enjoy it. I don't think I've personally seen her ever play with the pink mouse even once.

Very briefly I considered repairing the favorite mouse by re-stuffing it, and resewing its seams, but after the rejection of the new mouse, I'm afraid she would be insulted at my attempts. If she loves it the way it is, I will not be interfering
.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

I Made Myself This Little Bag

After my most recent surgery, I was restricted to lifting no more than 5 pounds. The satchel I liked to bring with me to work was a couple pounds at least even when empty. So I needed something lighter I could carry my lunch in but that wouldn't have room for me to add too much else and let it get too heavy.

Start Trek bag made by Kara Hartz

I found this Star Trek fabric on sale some time ago and have been looking for the perfect project to use it on. Ta Da! I'm very happy with how it turned out.
Inside of Star Trek bag made by Kara Hartz
The grey interior lining fabric is just circles and lines, but I like to imagine (as long as you don't look at them too closely) they are tiny Enterprises.


I'm 90% sure this is the book where I found the pattern I adapted for the bag I made. It included a pocket inside and I didn't include that.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Dream Kara

Two nights ago I had a great dream.
A little background info for those who haven't been listening to me whine, I mean who haven't followed my medical drama lately. After several surgeries that all seemed to run into complications, I am now recovering well but severely restricted in what I can do. I'm not supposed to bend or twist much and am limited to lifting no more than 5 pounds. This has been going on for nearly a year, with the more extreme restriction in the last 4 1/2 ish months.

So in my dream I was just running all over the city picking up heavy things. Something fell from a crane, and I caught it. Some big thing fell off a truck and was rolling toward some kids, and I ran in and scooped it up. I picked up this huge fish in my arms for some reason. And so on.

Every time I picked something up, expecting praise or thanks, people said to me, "You aren't supposed to do that."

Now, Real Me would have heard this and wilted, probably apologised and slunk away, but not Dream Me. Oh no. Dream Me stood up taller, hands on her hips and said, "But I did it anyway, and I'm awesome!" and jogged away to go find something else to pick up.

I wish I was like Dream Me.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Cute Kitten Pictures

Because the world always needs more cute kitten pictures, especially lately, I feel.

My husband and I go for an evening walk most nights. A couple weeks ago he heard a kitten crying in distress. He has great ears. After spotting the kitten and pointing her out, I could hear her at last too. She was across a four lane road, sitting on the sidewalk, just screaming. We crossed to her, and she tried to dart away in fear, but came up to the side of a building after a couple feet. The wall confused her and she just sat and stared at it instead of turning and continuing to run. Or perhaps she didn't have any more energy to run, because when I picked her up she was fluff and bone. She fit curled up in one hand and I held her against my chest that way for the walk home, after we looked around for any people or other cats (mama cat specifically) she might belong with.

Kitten. photo by Kara Hartz
One eye was crusted shut, she was covered with dirt, foxtails and fleas. She relaxed within moments of my holding her, closed her eyes and sighed a tiny kitten sigh, snuggling into me. We posted on all the found pet places, online and in out community, and no one stepped forward to claim her. This didn't surprise me considering her condition. We cleaned her up, fed her, and she has been coming to work with me for weight checks, and at last, yesterday, she was deemed old enough for viral testing, and starting her kitten vaccine series.

While we aren't keeping her long term she has been cleared to meet our cats, which she is enjoying a lot, and they are enjoying her somewhat less so. Here she is delighting in playing with Meeko's tail, and he in his infinite patience, is tolerating it. Until he didn't. He did at last give her a hiss and a smack after she bit too hard. I wouldn't have lasted as long as he did. He's a great big kitty brother.

Soon, once they are done with some things that are keeping them busy and out of the house a lot, my parents will be adopting her. So, happy ending.
Kitten Mystic biting Meeko's tail. Photo by Kara Hartz

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Meeting Authors at SF Comic Con 2018

Books from SF ComicCon. Photo by Kara Hartz
I was a little disappointed that they didn't have any novel writing focused writing talks on the schedule this year. There were a few on screenwriting and comic writing though. The last couple years they had several, but I noticed the author who did those talks was not there this year.
There was also only 1 novel table in the vendor hall that I found, that had books from several authors. I bought a book from each (1 was an ebook because her paper copies didn't show up apparently) and got them signed.

I had hoped for more, obviously, since I am a book lover more than anything, and am considering writing to the con to say how much I missed the writing talks and hope to see more of them in future years.

Still, I have fun new things to read, and that's always a win.