ECP a.k.a. ShamanicShift (ecp_writes) wrote,
ECP a.k.a. ShamanicShift

Our March at Blog-City

Tortoise Cat gets a new box-with-paper-to-tear toy, March 1, 2010.
As usual, the first of the month is a day off. Tortoise Cat played in the closet with a new toy, a play-box of tissue papers, just for ripping. Tortoise Cat discovered the papers a few months ago and has made steady progress tearing them into shreds.
But more and more scraps of torn paper were migrating into the office, I noticed. So I recycled a cardboard box, thrown (un-recycled) onto the dumpster, by installing it in the closet as a cat-toy upgrade (above). 
I am indoor gardening today, re-potting and rearranging.
The noises from the massage therapist's office, directly above, seem more intrusive than usual. I play "world-beat" music at soft to medium volumes, as needed, to drown out any confidential words. More and more folks seem to be broadcasting their private misfortunes in "outdoor voices," sometimes at drill-sergeant "listen-up" volumes.
Perhaps, to many people, "life in the big city" feels like a buffeting gale that must be shouted over. 
Besides the bland barrage of blah-blahs (emitted by guys as much as gals), the shoe clops and clunks on my ceiling tell me those women and men are accustomed to striding loudly upon the face of the Earth, digging their heels in first. No wonder they can't wait to drop -- or toss, or hurl down -- their fashionable, uncomfortable footwear!
CLONK. Then (there, wait for it)...CLONK.
Heels-first walking (especially in tight, high-heeled shoes) brings fatigue and pain by throwing posture out of alignment, every step of the way. At least this provides some job-security for the massage therapist. 
All the sounds that vibrate down through her resonant hardwood floors amplify on the way, by a factor of 10 or so, into an irregular, unpredictable, disharmonious din. When she repositions her wheeled equipment, at least several times per hour, the rumbles and thuds I hear down here bring to mind a roller-derby, or wrestling match or a series of nearly unimaginable combinations therof.  
Then, most evenings, this old Queen Anne Victorian hushes down while the bar crowd cranks up on the corner of N. Astor and E. Knapp Streets (County Clare Irish Inn and Monica's bar).
"Oh well," I ruminate, "Thank-you for another season of the original Reality Show."   
Imagining...Birds who open the door between cages, who fly in and out of all cages and, once again, call a bigger-picture wonder-world home.
Yesterday I was so busy relaxing that I forgot to push "Publish Entry."
Errands and a standing activity span this Wednesday of my mid-week weekend. 
I'm rediscovering Pandora as a sonic-fence between the upstairs and here. Like most fences, Pandora only muffles and blends the neighborly noises. Usually, I prefer to exercise imagination by transforming ambient sounds into alternative music. But hearing the irregular, unbalanced -- even unhealthy -- vibes from upstairs hour by hour, six days a week, leaves me feeling exhausted, all too often.  
The 40 hours the free version of Pandora allots won't last the month, if I use this solution often. But the $.99 fee to continue a month is still far cheaper than $36/year. So far I have found the audible ads short and subdued enough not to bother me at all. The one-hour time-out interval fits my situation well.
I downloaded CreaWriter for fun after reading about it in Lifehacker. I made a donation to get more options but the donor-version does not include more backgrounds or ambient sounds for this "distraction-free writing space." Mine has a sunset scene and crackling fire.
Adding more to the folder for configuring other versions looks easy, though. Lifehacker's review shows water-drops and tells of rain sounds.
Processing the donation, I ran into a weird PayPal glitch where CreaWriter was prompted to send my license key to an out of date secondary PayPal email I had removed long ago, which no longer shows from my end, a Yahoo! ID I barely use anymore except as a login on Y!-owned services like Flickr. CreaWriter's email, originating in Spain, apparently Y!-blocked, never arrived.
I visit that Y!-account about once/month to keep it active. I have experienced Y! blocking various providers and servers often enough (why I switched to gmail). So I suppose Y!-blocking is what happened, after PayPal (inexplicably) provided the outdated, removed alternative (Y!) email to send stuff to from Spain. Odd.
Graciously, after a bit of back and forth through PayPal's resolution process, CreaWriter refunded my account, then sent a complementary key to my gmail later. (Because of the email mix-up and blockage and CreaWriters automatic process, we couldn't communicate any other way.)
Tortoise Cat and I are entertaining an out of town visitor for the day, but I must leave them for a few hours, while I go to to work on another basement clearing and organizing project.
Gardening gigs are beginning, already (snipping, raking and cleanup).
Pandora radio might save my sanity if it doesn't mush my brain. 
I will sell the books that no one around here has read in a year. I was going to open an ad on Craig's List but first, I will give Downtown Books a chance, since someone is willing to make a house-call as soon as tomorrow or Thursday.
Any amount of spare change will help my causes here, but more clear space and a lighter feel is the change I am seeking. 
Downtown Books stopped by and bought more than ten crates and boxes of books!
Cleaning up and reorganizing took up the rest of the work day. 
I confronted this building's memo-writer this morning (requesting "No more notes, please!" under my door) unleashing an unprofessional tirade. Then I closed my door against her rant.  
I am revising my Milwaukee and anywhere "very small business" plan, again.
I'm getting ready to begin a new page. 
Parakeet and finch bird buddies
Meet Fiji and Finch-Buddy, two of my favorite residential cleaning customers. 
What next? To be continued, here, and on a new page, eventually...

 Orange Dogs meet Tortoise Cat, in March, 2010.
Yesterday afternoon, Tortoise Cat pulled me over to these orange dogs and their "big one" for a meet and greet.  
Calm-inducing weather: Last night's dense fog became this morning's drizzle. Yet, Saint Patrick's Day festivities began early, last night (because it's the weekend closest). Throughout Milwaukee's east side and downtown, green fun is afoot while green shoots and buds are sprouting.
Though I appreciate longer periods of daylight, I am no fan of Daylight Savings Time, which begins during tonight, seemingly too soon.
I do not prefer any artificial scheme of ordering, regulating or standardizing nature's free, chaotic or rhythmic flows, but I do not bother to oppose any system that human nature superimposes upon time or season. Because human nature grows out of nature, another expression of the universal fun of it all, human artifices are natural too.  
Tortoise Cat and I strolled the neighborhood this afternoon, but saw no sign of her new doggy-pals.
Miscellaneous errands are spanning the hours...!
Tortoise Cat is entertaining an out of town visitor. 
Days have passed since I have posted articles at Digital Journal, Examiner or Scientific Blogging because locally generated writing and miscellaneous work has kept me busy.
I am researching science blogs and science blog networks, seeking a new and fun niche for the science blog I started about three months ago on the ScientificBlogging network.
While local gigs fill my schedule I have been letting online content production lapse. I have withdrawn a few steps, but I am regrouping.
Saint Patrick's Day fun is in high-gear on this corner tonight!
I am enjoying learning from's information and videos on Saint Patrick's Day. 
Today a gardening gig around the block from here is my immediate purpose...clean-up and clipping.
The pre-Spring (pre-snowstorm) garden clean-up and clip-down continues.  
Happy vernal equinox! Tortoise Cat refused to stroll the neighborhood with me today because of the vernal equinoxian snowfall (shown below). 
Vernal equinoxian snow, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2010
Today I raked leaves and picked up trash in a garden at Forest Home Cemetery. Only within the shadiest nooks, were mostly melted vestiges of winter snowbanks and much brighter fresh snow patches still gleaming. Three of us stayed until sunset! 
Maybe, at last, "cat grass season" has begun!
Tortoise Cat next to tufts of ornamental grass in St. Paul's courtyard garden, March 22, 2010
What next?
To be continued... 

Tortoise Cat on a limestone block
Yes, "cat-grass season" is beginning!
I'm beginning a new page on a bright day.
I plan to post on Examiner, Digital Journal and Scientific Blogging by early evening 3/23, ending the latest hiatus caused by grabbing hours and hours of local freelance gardening and research work.
The juniper tree of (mostly hidden) sparrows outside our northeast window beep-beep-beeped into the afternoon.  
A sparrow visits our northeast window ledge, March 2010
I worked on a local research job and published a few pages online.
I gardened around the block before attending to my regular Wednesday job here. Remember, my "weekend" is Wednesday and Thursday, except for the activity with my regular Wednesday visitors.
Sun shone through bitter, chill wind gusts. 
Winds were gentler. Still, I was thoroughly chilled as sunset signaled quitting time for gardening. A hot salt bath warmed me to the bones. 
What a blessing it is, to earn money doing outdoor chores! 
I had fun clipping last season's Autumn Joy Sedum in bed after bed at a public library, revealing the new buds.
I finished clipping and cleaning St. Paul's Episcopal Church courtyard garden (off East Knapp Street), supervised by the Tortoise Cat. 
What next? I will begin the next page soon.
To be continued... 
Tags: events and updates, from blog-city, march, tortoise cat

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