ACW Episode 288 – The Power of Yoga!

Webcomic!

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So I had a slight miscommunication with the cat last week….

She was messing around with my iPad and some electronics cables while I was trying to do yoga. I told her to “shoo!” but apparently she didn’t hear me, because when I reached down to give her a nudge, she reacted as though I had just shot 20,000 volts through her. I believe she did three and a half somersault in five different directions before landing – claws first – on my left hand. Two claws slashed open my pinky and middle fingers. But one claw managed to puncture not just the skin of my ring finger, but also the blood vessel beneath it as well. And that claw sunk into me so deep that I couldn’t simply shake the cat free of my hand (though Glob knows I TRIED!!!). Instead, I had to roll around on the floor in agony while the cat swore at me and continued to shred my digits. Eventually, she took off, leaving me with a bloody stump where my hand used to be. It was three days before all my fingers grew back and I was able to wear my wedding rings again.

So just remember folks. Never set the cat on fire, and don’t mess with it when you’re doing yoga either.

ACW Episode 287 – It’s all a bit fuzzy to me

Webcomic!

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Wow, I finally got a webcomic drawn and posted! It’s been like, forever!

Seriously though, it has been a month since I last posted a webcomic. The reason, of course, is because it was Girl Scout cookie season, again, and I let my life get taken over by Girl Scout cookie season, again.

The problem is partly the organization I volunteer for. Girl Scouts demands a lot from its volunteers, and I understand this. We work with girls who need us to be responsible, keep them safe, and offer them opportunities to do things that are fun and exciting. That requires training, certifications, background checks, the ability to handle finances, the ability to plan and conduct training, and so on, and so on, and so on. Basically, all the things I used to do in the Army Reserves. Only without the paycheck to go with it.

So I understand that, and I agree with that. But…

I’m not sure Girl Scouts understands what it’s asking of its volunteers. I mean, in a way, they do. They know what’s at stake when it comes to working with girls. But I don’t think they understand the demand these requirements puts on its volunteers. I volunteer at least 10 hours a week. And some weeks I volunteer more. A lot, lot more. During cookie season, I could end up volunteering 60 hours a week. Keep in mind that some weeks during cookie season I am also hosting the troop meeting (we have one 5-hour meeting a month), running cookie booths, handling accounting for cookie sales, making deposits of cookie money at the bank, preparing for Scout Sunday, preparing for Thinking Day, attending those events, and more. And doing all that is exhausting.

I read an article recently that talked about the ideal amount of hours to volunteer. And the number they gave was 100-800 hours. Less than that didn’t give the volunteers the same boost of happiness. More than that left volunteers burned out. Now 100-800 hours seems like one hell of a range, but the article also mentioned that there were no benefits to volunteering more than 100 hours. And I’d say they’re right about that. I’d be happy if I could cut my volunteering back to just 5-10 hours a week. That would put me at around 250-500 hours a year, as opposed to what I volunteer now.

But how to get those hours down? That’s where I have to admit that I’m part of the problem.

Yes, Girl Scouts asks a lot. But that doesn’t mean I always have to say ‘yes’ when they ask something of me. I need to start learning how to say ‘no.’ And there may be some folks I work with in Girl Scouts who will be disappointed to hear me say no. But I’m thinking that the organization as a whole will understand. Girl Scouts needs dedicated volunteers; it doesn’t need burned-out volunteers. And so I’m making the choice to step back from some of my volunteering so that I can do a better job at what I still intend to volunteer for, and so I don’t feel resentful about volunteering.

And then maybe  I won’t be so tired that I try to type my emails on my cat 🙂

ACW Episode 286 – An Important Fact About Cats

Webcomic!

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Sing it with me folks. “My cat has fleas!” Or rather, my CATS have fleas. All three of them. Do you know how hard it is to wash three cats? There’s a lot of bleeding involved. A LOT of bleeding.

At least the kitties smell nice when the baths are done. Not that they’ll let me get close enough to snuggle after I’ve dunked them in water, scrubbed them with soap, and dunked them again. But that’s okay. I need the time to clean myself up anyway. Don’t want to bleed all over my freshly cleaned kitties.

ACW Episode 285 – A Belated Christmas

Webcomic!

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It took me soooooooooooo long to finish this, and for no other reason that I simply could not get my act together for the last month. And I’m still not able to get my act together, but I’ll keep plugging along anyway.

I should have another Creature Comforts post up tonight. It’s in the works right now!

ACW Episode 284 – No sugar plum fairies for me!

Webcomic!

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There really is no good time to make changes to a diet, but taking out excess sugar during the holidays really, really sucks.

But, I really needed to make a change to my diet. I’ve been having problems with joint pain for a couple years now, and it gets worse during the winter. After doing a bit of research, I decided to try removing the excess sugar from my diet. I’ve given up soda, sugar in my coffee or tea, and any store-bought sweets for the most part. I’ve started cooking my meals from scratch, which is a bit of a hassle, but worth it. After a week, my joints, especially my knees, started to feel much better, so yay for getting rid of sugar!

On the down side, cutting out sugar also killed my energy level for the first week. I found myself passing out for hours at a time. I’m still taking little unexpected naps here and there, but it’s not as bad as it was at first week.

Anyway, we’ll see how well I get through this holiday season with a reduced-sugar diet.

I Love Drawing Comics!

Hubster pencils!

Hubster is sooooo cute!

I have slowly learned over time that when I am sloppy drawing pencils, I actually get the penciling done faster, and better, than when I agonize over the details. There was actually another layer of VERY sloppy sketching with this snippet, but I accidentally deleted it once I had the pencil lines I actually wanted. Oh well! Maybe when I do more penciling tomorrow, I’ll be able to show it then!

Episode 283 – Parents, don’t let your babies grow up to be assholes

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This actually happened, although the backpack in question belonged to another young lady, not Princess. Regardless of who’s bag it was, I still get pissed off when I think about it. I expect a certain level of civilized behavior from kids, and the older they get, the more I expect. So when I see a kid acting like a huge jerk, I do not shrink from calling them on it. And when a parent lets me know they tolerate that kind of behavior, I don’t hesitate to call them out either.

Honestly, the first job of a parent is to keep their kids safe and healthy. The second job, though, is to civilize those little savages. And to be honest, I think the civilization process is a huge part of the keeping safe process. Because I am not joking – one of these days I will kill one of these kids.

ACW Episode 282 – Run, Princess, Run!!

Webcomic!

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Yes, it took me forever to get this one done. I apologize. I started this at the beginning of October, which turned out to be one of the busiest months I’ve had to deal with in a loooooooong time. It was so busy and so hectic, in fact, that I look forward to the peace and quiet of Girl Scout cookie season.

Yes, I actually said that. And now I’ve put it in writing.

What kept me so busy? Well, Girl Scouts was one part of it. In addition to our troop meetings, we also had an archery trip and a murder mystery party. Then there was Halloween and All Saints Day. The girls attend Catholic school, and this year Pixie’s class held a “Courtyard of Saints,” where all the students dressed up as different saints and gave a sort of living history presentation. Pixie was Mother Teresa, so I spent a week sewing that costume for her. And then, since we can’t visit one end of the spectrum without seeing the other, I also had to sew her a Kylo Ren costume for Halloween. Princess wanted to be a Jedi, so there was that to sew. And of course, I was busy working on the October Crochet challenge. But what kept me busiest of all in October was…

Cross Country.

Princess was encouraged by her friends to join, and I’m very glad she did, because it was a great experience for her. She went from barely being able to run a mile to running 3 miles, and over the course of the month shaved 4 minutes off her mile run time. Thankfully, though, the Cross Country season ended before Halloween, because practice was 3 days a week with a race on top of that, so just about every day after school, we were running somewhere for 2 hours at a time. Well, Princess was running. I opted to do lawn work at the school (we do school service hours every year), or drive kids to races and chaperon at events. It was time-consuming, to say the least.

But now Cross Country is over, and November’s challenge is drawing, so I’m going to get back to regular work on the webcomic. I can’t promise weekly updates, but I certainly think I can do better than once a month!

Enjoy the webcomic! Later today, I’ll post another update for the November drawing challenge.

ACW Episode 281 – Tomatoes!

Webcomic!

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It took me about as long to draw this webcomic as it did to find a recipe for my tomatoes. Thankfully, webcomics do not go all green and fuzzy unless you draw them that way.

I spent yesterday working on Pixie’s Mother Teresa costume and planning how I’m going to survive the next month. I love October, but this one is going to be very busy. I have a troop meeting to hold, a trip to the archery range, and a mystery party to plan and host, all for Girl Scouts. Not to mention I promised a certain couple of someones that I would let them have a Halloween slumber party. Aaaaaand I still have more tomatoes to cook.

Anyway, I’m going to crochet for a bit now, and hopefully post the results later tonight. Have fun!

ACW Episode 280 – Mamas, don’t let your kitties grow up to be rockets

Stinky webcomic!

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This happens. A lot. It’s mainly just the Jelly Bean and Marmalade, the Stinko-Twins. One of them jumps up on the couch while I’m working and a huge, smelly cloud follows them. Thankfully our other cat, Hiccup, is too… “laid back” to launch himself via any means. Okay, he really just doesn’t like to move.

The kids are finally back in school. Princess has started Cross Country which means I’m going to be busy four afternoons a week, and when Pixie’s Girl Scout troop starts up, that means I’ll be busy five afternoons a week. I’m going to have to find some portable work to bring with me. Unless, of course, I’m drafted to volunteer with either group.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a wonderful, stink-free holiday weekend! Now back to your regularly scheduled life.