Dog-Gone Me

Dogs are just drawn to me: whenever I come across one, they will often come running towards me. Even the most antisocial dog.

This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because I have a soft spot for animals. And I like it when antisocial dogs like me because it makes me feel like they can trust me.

It’s also a curse because I get nervous around big dogs: I’m always worried they are going to jump on me and knock me over. Also, I often worry that when I see a guide dog, it will leave it’s owner unattended. And something will happen to the owner while the dog is distracted.

Also, nowadays I see dogs without their leashes. This can be very problematic, as if a dog follows me, we could end up separated and the dog will get lost. So I have to make sure that their owner is able to get their dog. Whenever a dog comes running, I stop and wait for their owner to catch up. This keeps the dog from following me and getting lost.

It all may seem silly to worry about those things. But I can’t help it: I’m a very compassionate person, and I don’t want anything bad to happen. I don’t want someone losing their dog because it followed me. I can easily image the heartbreak they would feel as I have two dogs myself. And I will never forgive myself if something happened to them because of me.

So what should you do when someone’s dog is drawn to you? Be nice and friendly: try not to be scared. And be aware of the situation: not all dogs are okay to pet, and respect their owners.

Looking Back, Moving Foward

As some of you may have noticed, I have been going back to my previous works and making changes: Fixing spelling mistakes, shortening sentences and rewording them. Not just that I can have properly polished stories on my blog; It’s so I can learn from my mistakes in the past.

It may not seem that important to go back and look at the mistakes I made in my writing. But when you look back on past mistakes, you wonder, ‘Okay, here’s what I did wrong. What can I take from this?’

Taking something from your mistakes is the most important part: It teaches you how to avoid making that mistake in the future. Regardless of how big or small this realization is, it is still something you learn.

Mistakes help you learn. No one is going to know everything right away.

Walk Facts

Every day, I like to go out on a walk, either once or twice. Why do I like going out on a walk?

  • It’s a great way to get out of the house. I tend to go stir-crazy when I sit around for too long: getting outside is a great way to fix that. Getting outside is a big thing, as because of the lockdown, I can’t go to any stores. Not being able to go anywhere has affected my mood negatively in the past. Going for walks has helped me feel better and less cooped up.
  • It’s healthy: It helps keep my weight low and gets me up and moving. I know exercise is encouraged, but it’s harder for me to get into new things. Also, adults should take 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy.
  • I enjoy seeing things on my walks, such as birds flying around and how green someone’s grass could get. It makes me more aware of the world and of the beauty it can have.

I recommend that everyone goes on a walk every day when they can.

My Writing Mistakes

Ever since I decided to improve my spelling and grammar, I have been going back to my past works and editing them. And when I edit my past work, I end up making a lot of changes to them.

What exactly do I change? I have been paying attention to what I have been correcting, and I noticed that I have some ‘bad habits’:

  • My tone in the blog posts: I noticed that I have somewhat of a causal speaking tone in my blog. I shouldn’t be using that, as I want to look professional.
  • I use the present tense when I should be using the past tense.
  • I write wordy sentences. Sentences should be straight to the point. And I often end up writing more to the sentence than what is necessary.
  • When I misspell a word, sometimes my pad won’t catch the misspelling.

So when I look over my writing, I end up removing a lot of unnecessary words and fixing all the spelling mistakes I made. And when I do make the corrections, I find myself wondering how I missed those mistakes. While I do feel like a fool, I’m also grateful that I can go back. And I’m hoping to learn more about spelling, grammar and editing.

My Spelling and Grammar

Grammar and spelling are critical when it comes to writing; journalism is no exemption to this rule. Something that I just recently realized this week.

I realized this when I was looking at LinkedIn for jobs in freelance writing. I was able to find one and sent it to a friend that works within Living Burlington to see what she thought of it. While she thought I should apply for it, she did mention that I need to check my spelling and grammar myself more, as the job called for writers to have their works ready to publish.

That got me into thinking. In the past, I often missed any grammar or spelling mistakes I made. While I used Word for my documents, Word Check doesn’t always pick up on my mistakes. As such, I often had someone look over my writing to catch any mistakes I made.

That’s not the only problem I have; I also have gotten too used to autocorrect correcting the mistake right away.

Thinking back to those two things, I realized that I needed to change if I wanted to become a freelance writer. I have to improve my grammar and spelling myself.

So right away, I searched Google, hoping to find something that could help. While searching, I remembered seeing a commercial for Grammarly.

Remembering how the commercial spoke of how Grammarly helps improve writing, I decided to install it onto my iPad. And what I am writing now is me testing the app out.

Grammarly is quick to catch onto my errors and offer suggestions to correct them. However, my time of using Word has left me wary of any mistakes that I and the app may have missed.

I also want to catch my mistakes myself; to improve my spelling and grammar so I won’t need an app to check it anymore.

So is Grammarly a recommended app to use for spelling and grammar? Will I be able to improve my spelling and grammar over time by using Grammarly?

Lesson of 2020

Since this is New Years Eve, I decided I would look back on the year of 2020. Everyone can agree that 2020 was terrible. I agree with that statement as well.

But there has been some good that came out of it for me.

-I learned a lot about my OCD: How it works, what to look out for, and what to do. I admit when I first showed signs of it, I was a complete wreck and now, I know what to expect, know that there is nothing wrong with me, and I’m learning that I shouldn’t beat myself up for simple things.

-I learned that even if the world seems to be falling apart, humanity will find a way to keep moving forward. COVID seemed like the end of the humanity, but it isn’t. It’s just an end to an old way of life, and now we are learning to adapt.

-I also decided to try to get over my pickiness by trying new foods. And I realized that the big cause of me not wanting to try anything is because I feel like I’m being pressured to like it. In reality though, it’s just me. And I’m looking forward to trying to come up with new healthy meals in the new year.

Basically, I see 2020 as a testament to the phrase Diane said in the series finale of Bojack Horseman: “Sometimes life’s a bitch and then you keep on living.”

That phrase had stuck with me since it’s pretty much been a testament to my life: I got OCD, and had to deal with COVID, and then I kept on living. And it’s basically what happens to everyone: Life gets you down, and then you keep on living.

If I’m able to take things away from 2020, I’m sure everyone else can. I mean, they learned that humanity hasn’t ended, and probably a lot more during this. So if you feel down about it, try looking back and see how far you came this year. I’m sure you will find something to be proud of.

And try to remember that sometimes, life is going to be bad at times. But you keep on living.

I do hope things will improve in the new year, and I wish you guys a Happy New Years.

The Day the Power Went Out

Today at Walmart, I was just doing returns when all of a sudden, the lights started to flicker and finally, shut off. We were experiencing a blackout.

Right away, I was feeling very uncomfortable; I didn’t know if they wanted me to do something, I felt like I couldn’t do my returns properly and I had to cover the door in a few minutes.

So, I went to the door as it was close to the time I had to cover the guy there. We spent some time talking before all of the assiocates was called for a meeting. When everyone was there, the manager took attendance and assigned us jobs and partners. I was given a partner as well, and was told to work on returns.

The reason I was given a buddy is because in the dark, it is very easy to trip and fall. Walmart didn’t want that to happen or for anyone to be alone if it did happened so they assigned us partners to keep an eye on each other.

Very quickly I got back to work, now feeling calmer now I had a partner. We were also joined by a fellow co-worker my partner had noticed.

When we got our cart done, the power came back on. Despite that, it was around an hour and a half before Walmart reopened for business, as everyone needed to get the refrigerated things back on display.

So when a blackout happens at your job:

-Stay calm and find an employee, preferably a manger, since they have to take attendance.

-Listen to what the manager says.

-Don’t leave the store: they have to take attendance, and they need everyone there to ensure that they are safe.

Holiday Job Madness

The Holidays Job Madness: When the holidays affects your customers, making them seem more needy then usual, and more persistent on asking you for help when you already are trying to do something. Or when you are affected, and you just want to focus on what you are doing and not have to do fifty other things. Not sure if it counts but I had the both of those today.

First, I was zoning Health and Beauty when I see a man looking at two bottles. He then turned to me, and asked, “Hey, what’s the difference between dry shampoo and hairspray?”

I admit, I had this moment of disbelief, wondering why he would ask that since I thought the answer would be obviously clear. Despite that, I told him that the dry shampoo helps with the oil buildup in your hair.

Then, I was told to do returns, and to start off with the fullest cart. Of course, this happened to be a cart overflowing with toys. So overflowing that several boxes were falling down when I was taking it to the toy section.

Then the minute I get there, I had a woman approached me, asking me if we had Tickle-Me Elmos. I said no, and then she asked me where the air fresheners are, and telling me that she had bad legs. I felt bad for her and went to go grab it for her since it was at the other end of the store. However, she still followed me, stopping me to ask if we had Elmo towels and asking if I had a bad back just because I pulled on my shirt at the back.

After that, I was told to cover the doors, so I didn’t get any recovery done. Walmart had this new rule due to COVID that the doors on the grocery side are exit only, so I had to deal with people trying to exit though the at the doors I was stationed. I ended up encountering two elderly men who didn’t care about the rules: They refused to listen to me, spoke to me very rudely, and went out the wrong doors.

After my break, I started working on returns again, and when I was bringing the Christmas things over, I had a woman stop me, pointing out a cart that someone left behind at a unused register. Usually, we have people who covers that sort of thing, but we were short staffed that day. So I took all the things out and put the cart away.

While I was putting the cart away, one of my co-workers asks me if I was going to do the Health and Beauty cart and I told her I would do it later, I had something else to do and I wanted to focus on it and then the more full carts.

I was able to empty the cart, but thoughout the whole thing, I often had to take customers to find things, such as paper towel and tape.

Then I went to grab cart and seeing another full toy cart, I got that one and went over to the toy section.

When I got there, I was called over by a woman, asking about a policy about selling an item cheaper when it’s in the wrong place. I recommended her that she ask the cash, as I remembered that policy back from my cashier days, and I couldn’t remember if it was still in place. So she takes a photo for proof, and then asked me to come with her to back her up.

This one drove me the most crazy, as I felt like since she had proof, I didn’t have to come with her. And I just wanted to get my recovery done. But I went along with her until we ran into some other co-workers. I asked one of them if I really had to come with her to back her up, and he said no, and that they will help her.

At that point, my shift was nearly done, and I was just plain frustrated at all the customers. And finally, my manager politely asked me to ‘do recovery’, which what I was trying to do all day. It honestly made me feel bad, as I feel like I barely did anything. Sure I helped a lot of people, but I just wanted to do what I was told.

I admit, I get super-focused on the task, and I need to be flexiable at Walmart. But that day, I was so focused on getting recovery done, I feel like I wasn’t being that flexible.

Despite all the screaming in my head, I was able to keep my composure. When I explained everything to my manger after her request, she understood how I was feeling, and said I did a wonderful job, and she thought I kept myself in control. I admit, I feel like people can see when I’m stressed, so I’m still worried about it. But I’m sure she would had brought it up as well.

The customers were really nice: They knew I was trying to get through the holidays, and never once told me that I was rude. I admit, I was talking about how stressed I was, trying to explain if I sounded rude, that’s why.

And despite all of that frustration, I know I did the right thing on stopping recovery and helping the customer as they will always come first. Walmart does want all customers to leave with a smile on their faces and wanting to come back after all.

Mom and Dad say that’s the reality of the holiday rush: It brings out all the crazy requests. But when I think about it, it’s due to the customer wanting to make their families happy as well, or wanting to get something at a cheaper price. So they really do have a reason for their requests.

I’m going to get good days somedays and after a while of good days, a completely bad day will come up and throw me off. That’s reality. And when that happens, I have to remember that tomorrow is another day.

Christmas Gift Music and Madness

Watching Reddit videos of the worst Christmas gifts given out, I realized that a lot of them are the loud, noisy toys that kids love to play over and over. You know, the ones that sound cute for about five seconds and then want to throw out the video the next time it plays.

Honestly, it reminded me of this one gift I got. My family and I were in Kingston, and we were visiting my mom’s sister. I never seen my aunt from my mom’s side, but she did try to put in an effort in, giving everyone gifts. My gift was a Tickety Tock (from Blues Clues) that had a little button that made the toy sing a loud song.

Since I was a kid, I was ecstatic and kept playing the song over and over. I don’t recall seeing my parents or brother looking annoyed, but thinking about it now and remembering how the song sounded, I can easily understand if they had wanted to throw the thing out of the window.

I later found the toy days later and found it didn’t play anymore. The videos I watched said that the parents don’t replace the batteries or took them away, so I know that’s what happened there.

The Cookies Mom and I Bake at Christmas and the Links to the Recipes

Around Christmas, Mom and I do a lot of baking. And we always have recipes on hand.

I admit I been wondering, ‘Since I been writing about Christmas cookies so much, should I share the recipes?’ I admit I would love to, as I want to share the joy Mom and I have.

But here’s the thing: They’re recipes we found on Pinterest. They’re not our own recipes.

So, I’m going to share the websites of where we got those cookie recipes. That way, those people that own the recipes still get credit for it.

So..What kind of cookies Mom and I do?

-Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies: https://spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-no-bake-cookies/

Peanut Butter Blossoms:https://www.swankyrecipes.com/peanut-butter-blossoms.html

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies: https://www.creationsbykara.com/reeses-peanut-butter-cup-cookies/

Gingerbread Men: https://www.blessthismessplease.com/soft-gingerbread-cut-out-cookies/

Whipped Shortbread Cookies: https://greedyeats.com/whipped-shortbread-cookies/

Please remember to give the website owners the credit they deserve for sharing these recipes. And check out Pinterest for more recipes.