Tales from the Wild

An Update from the Home Office

At this point, both my husband and I have been working from home for over a year and I have to say, I’ve grown quite accustomed to it. I have my daily routine and the critters have theirs.

My day typically starts with a drive to Mean Cup or Central Market for coffee. Could I make coffee at home? Yes. Is it as good? No, so I drive downtown to Mean Cup to get my iced coffee to start my morning. It gets me out of the house, gives me some time alone to think, and a small amount of interaction with other human beings.

They’ve learned to co-exist quite well. They still keep a watchful eye on each other though.

Most mornings, I have a furry companion who pops in and out of the office. Zoey has become my work buddy, sometimes plopping in my lap, sometimes snoozing in the chair beside my desk, and even the occasional on screen appearance or two. She loves market mornings because then she gets a bite of cheese from my egg and cheese sandwich. She’s a cheesy puss.

Doodle is my husband’s work companion. Daisy does her own thing.

Buggy has learned if he’s noisy enough, I will take him out of his tank and let him run around on the floor. His favorite place to hide is in my bookshelf – he crawls up on top of the books on the bottom shelf and falls asleep. Dragons and books go well together, right?

When your critters need lovin’ you take the time to love on them.

Across the Great Divide

It may seem out of place to return to my blog about work-life balance during the midst of a pandemic and admittedly I’m not entirely sure what to say, but since I currently have the time to write I figured I might as well give it a go.

During this crisis, I am one of the lucky ones who are able to work from home. Something I vowed never to do again once I left teaching unless it was for good reason. And right now, I certainly have a good reason.

For the time being, I’ve turned my art studio/critter room into a home office – complete with a new reptilian coworker. It has taken some getting used to, but I seem to be adjusting fairly well. Though my co-worker did crap on the floor today and I had to clean it up so I could continue to work without gagging.

It’s strange to me working remotely and holding meetings via Skype, but it seems to be working out. I miss being with other human beings; however, I do get to have lunch with my husband every day, so there’s that.

We’ve been going for walks in the evening just to get out of the house. The weather hasn’t been particularly pleasant the past few days, so I’ll be glad for some brighter days.

How You Make Them Feel

Today I was in the pet store when I happened to see an individual from my former job. This person was had a tendency to be very brusque when dealing with others. My final interaction with this individual left me feeling inadequate and unappreciated. Though in the years I’d worked with the individual, I’d had a few positive (positive may be too strong of a word here) interactions, this final one had left a decidedly negative impression. So when I saw the person today at the store, I hid.

Now, I know this may sound ridiculous that as a nearly 40 yr old woman I would hide from a former colleague in a pet store. And it is. But in that moment the emotion that flooded my body was one of sheer anxiety and panic. Much the way the person had made me feel in the past. I must have looked shady af to the store employees who saw me lingering and peeking around the end of an aisle display repeatedly until the person had made it through the checkout line and was on the way out of the store. After that, I purchased what I’d come for and left feeling sheepish. As I drove home, I couldn’t help but think how true the quote about how people forget what you’ve said and done, but never forget how you’ve made them feel is.

I’m sure I’ve had my fair share of individuals I’ve made feel small or in some way less than, possibly with out even realizing it. I know I’m far from perfect and have no illusions of sainthood. I just hope I’ve managed to tip the scales in favor of love on most occasions. And I apologize for the times that I haven’t.

It’s tough being human sometimes.

Infographics and other fun things…

So one of the cool things I’ve learned about since I started my job is how to make infographics. I really enjoy putting them together and I love reading infographics – even on bizarre topics! I love the combination of text and visual information. On a side note, I am sure that’s also why I love comics and graphic novels.

I enjoy them so much, that I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to them. LOL Also, there’s are some cool sites out there that post a new infographic each day. It’s just a fun way to learn new things. Daily Infographic is one of those sites.

This image does not belong to me. Giving credit where credit is due, I found it on Business to Community’s website, here:

Other free resources that I use along with Canva are Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels for free photos and graphics.

As for marketing, it happens to be a cool way to get your ideas across to an audience. Anything with visuals is more appealing than just plain text; whether it’s an infographic or a video or even just some pictures or graphics dispersed throughout a blog post, it definite becomes more appealing to your audience.

I’ve include the infographic to the left, shared by Business to Community which explains the why and how of using visuals.

Anyway, I always find it quite satisfying when I find the perfect image or vector graphic to use in an infographic or really any piece of graphic design.

Admittedly, I have very limited knowledge about graphic design, but using Canva makes it easy to create things.

Sometimes I think about what I would have been able to do with these new things I’ve learned as an educator. I could definitely see myself using Canva to create all sorts of curriculum materials. Not only that, it would be cool to have students use it to demonstrate their knowledge of whatever we were learning. The potential applications are endless really. Canva is free to use thought there are additional features, graphics, templates, graphics and photos that you have to pay to use, I’ve always managed to find ample free resources.

While this is only a small part of what I do at my new job, I find it quite gratifying.

A Project

One thing I’ve learned as a result of my work is how to use Canva. It’s given me the opportunity to play around with graphic design ideas. For Christmas, I created a coupon book for a friend using Canva.

It turned out cute and I had fun doing it.

Anyway, I’ve discovered plenty of interesting things as a result of my job; hopefully, I’ll be better at sharing them this year.