DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Agility - Weave 101B

Had class with Teka. (no time to blog...)

30 Days of Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~ William Arthur Ward

I received a thank you card from one of my bosses. He just wanted to let me know that he noticed some extra effort I was taking for our clients.

Monday, November 29, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

I'm grateful my 30 days are almost over! I'm tired. I can't blog every day. How do people write those really insightful, funny blogs with daily posts? I may go MIA!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Weekends, helpful in-laws, bowling, getting stuff done, ignoring the rest.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

We didn't get a tree last year. I had already started packing, thinking that we would be moving soon. We have finally moved, but I wasn't sure we would get a tree since we're still unpacking, shuffling boxes, and getting things in order.

We got a tree today and it is up, watered, and decorated. I'm grateful for the smell of a fresh Christmas tree--love it and hope it lasts.

Friday, November 26, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

A long day doing a lot of things that were not on my list for today, but on my list anyway. A long trip to The Home Depot. (How do men spend so much time at The Home Depot but claim not to like shopping?) We have decided to use some Christmas decorations that we already had, but some will not work at the new house. We got new outdoor icicle lights--LED, blue and white, pretty cool. At this point, I'm just grateful they are up. And working. And looking good.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Ahhh, Thanksgiving. Plans for four stops, but only made three. First, Grandma's--a small group of relatives, black olives and sweet pickles, amazing rolls, moist turkey, peppery mashed potatoes, buttery yams, followed by (made by Grandpa) chocolate pie, lemon meringue pie, and pecan pie.

Next, J and E's. The kids were great (even the visitors) and I had a little (very good) ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans, followed by coffee with Baileys.

We planned on a stop at J's next, but the group was breaking up by then, so we headed to the D's. They were just sitting down for dinner, so we joined them. I had a little butternut squash soup, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and corn bake, followed by more wine by the fire.

Okay, I ate way too much. I'm grateful I have places to go and people who want to see me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

The office was a little light on staff today and the boss decided the rest could leave early. So I was walking out with my supervisor after 5:00....

I had some things to do, but the impending task: making cookies. I got the first batch (my most requested cookies) done and realized I didn't have any oats for the second batch. I had already prepped the butter, so I looked for a recipe that used the same amount. And they turned out nice and chocolaty. I'm grateful that there are people that love my cookies. I'm barely a good cook or baker, but I have a few things I do well enough to keep everyone coming back for more.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Just grateful for happy moments and laughing about the rest. Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy.

Weave 201B

Cassi had class and we were able to work a bit on our own as well as paired up. The exercises were very similar to the ones from Teka's class last week, but more weave repetitions by increasing the length of the sequence. She did very well and seems to be getting her stride in the weaves.

I signed them up for the next session. Teka will be in a weekly Weave class; Cassi will move to Contacts until my Wednesday class is done and she can move to Handling. I just need to schedule a private session so D can evaluate what Cassi needs to work on in the Contact class.

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Laughter is the best medicine, they say. I had a long day that started and ended in pain, but had a good amount of pain-free-edness in between, and spent the evening laughing. Rules of Engagement and How I Met Your Mother (this week's and last) in addition to this hilarious video a friend on Facebook shared, from a Conan episode last year (Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy). And then I found the ABC's of Spoonie Thanks. At the start, I thought it wouldn't have anything for me, and there were quite a few that didn't ring my bell. However, laughter, naps, and zzzzz are easy choices. Here are my favorites:
  • Kumquats – For no reason other than it makes me giggle.
  • Obituaries – This one’s simple folks. Read them. Are you listed? If not, then be thankful you have tomorrow.
  • Pill Boxes – When you take enough pills per day to keep half of Glaxo Smith Kline’s employed for generations to come, it’s easy to confuse them. I can’t be the only one who has accidentally taken an Ambien at 8am and ended up face planted on a keyboard. Pill boxes keep the a.m. pills straight from the p.m. pills and guarantees that you won’t be face down in a puddle of your own drool at the corporate lunch meeting. [My note: I can't believe that I have pill boxes at my age.]
  • Yesterday – Because it means I made it through, am living today and looking to tomorrow. Bring. It.
I'll have to remember the Ginger Tea tip for my next infusion. I am grateful for laughter! As often and as much as possible.

Bring. It.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

I love to read but don't do it as much as I'd like. I have accumulated quite a few books, and have a lot that I haven't read. Today, I got them unpacked and on the shelves. They may end up moving around a little as I continue unpacking and organizing, but I love seeing them all lined up and ready for me. I am grateful for (good) books.

Trial update

Monthly survey is complete.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Today--unpacking, completing projects, and family visits. Kids say the funniest things--the nephew commented on our "plastic grass" in the front yard. We had beautiful weather for the kids to run and play outside. I'm grateful that everyone (including my grandparents) made the drive and had a good time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

A long day at work, followed by grocery shopping and intermittent pain. I'm grateful it's intermittent, not constant. And that I accomplished some of my goals for the day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

It was a hard day, but I did take a lunch break to share leftovers from yesterday's office potluck. I am grateful to enjoy the company of my co-workers. And that some of them can cook!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Agility class

Tonight was a course night. Teka did very good on her turn. She made the broad jump. She popped out of the weaves at #10 both times, but was pretty quick. We need to work on her switch more.

Cassi was very excited and had some trouble focusing. The tire gave her some trouble at the beginning but we were able to practice a few times. After her first run, it was lowered--apparently the new rules are that the tire jump is the next height down. (So for dogs jumping at 20", the tire is 16".) Hopefully this helps her improve. I had to watch my arms, that I didn't have both up when I was trying to get her to follow my hand. She did excellent on the teeter.

30 Days of Gratitude

Had a little fun chatting with my sister, M and a high school friend on FB. One knew that a nerd and a geek ARE the same thing; one was offended. Um, all Chuck fans know that Nerd Herd = Geek Squad. I guess the offended is not a Chuck fan. Nerd. ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Tonight, I had a phone call from my niece, J, who I haven't talked to since she was a little girl. And now she is a grown woman with her own little kids. We're going to get together over the holidays when my sister and dad are in town. She also invited me and M to come by on Thanksgiving. She lives near our new house; her brother lives nearby too. It's so exciting to get back in touch! I am so glad she wanted to talk for a while.

Weave 101B

Tonight's class had two sequences, a three pole exercise, and a toy torture (and body torture) exercise.

First was a sequence with a tunnel, U turn to a 6 pole weave, 3 jumps in an arch with a front cross between the last two, wrap around to a 6 pole weave, front cross into a tunnel and back out to those same weaves. Teka did pretty well, but I had to open the first weaveomatic to help with her entry.

The second exercise was a tunnel into a channel weave entry at the 10:00 position, front cross to a jump, wrap back into the weaves. The first time Teka came out of the tunnel, another dog was running by on the 3 pole exercise, chasing his toy that rolled by. She came within inches but just seemed surprised, didn't snap or anything. She seemed a little nervous after that but once we started playing again, she got over it.

On the 3 pole exercise, she kept stopping at the third pole, so D told me to click and throw the treat simultaneously, and make sure I do it early enough that she's still moving. It's a lot of timing--I'm not doing so well on that yet.

Last, we did the weavomatic with a couple toys laying nearby. Teka went through without looking at the toys, and started to even figure out that the treat frisbee was her goal. (I forgot her treat bag.) So next was the body torture--I skipped and waved my arms. She didn't care at all. Then I stopped halfway down--she did not like that. We tried again and I stopped when she had 3 poles left. She really thought about it, and then she finished and went to her frisbee. Awesome.

Trial update

I was overdue for my appointment but didn't realize it. At the new house, the answering machine is in a spot that I forget to check it. A from the Research center finally left a message on my cell phone that I was almost out of my window for the blood test. Oops. When I talked to A, she scheduled me with N. I asked if E would be there, but no, so she made a "just in case" appointment for me at Sonora Labs.

I went today and N started with the blood draw. She stuck me and decided that was not going to work. So the rest of the tests were done and N sent me to Sonora. She met me there and we got in pretty quickly. The lab tech just rammed that needle on in there and got the blood draw. You know it's bad when the other nurse cringes! I managed to not cry until I got to my car. Minor pity party. I decide to run by Dutch Bros to get a frozen latte. The guy there remembered me and was super upbeat. As I was leaving, Dancing Queen came on the radio. Pity party over.

I have so many blessings and I am reminded to look for them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

A friend was in town this weekend, and we spent time last night hanging out with our "new" west-side friends. So this weekend was filled with professional friends, old friends and new friends. :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Last night, we enjoyed a great night with some old friends. I'm glad they came out to our side of town to hang out. It was fun!

Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

I belong to a professional organization and volunteer on the Board of Directors. I have met some wonderful people, very kind, considerate, and generous.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

This morning, I sent the November Grayline to the Valley of the Sun Weimaraner Club members (and the courtesy newsletter list). I generally send the newsletter each month sometime in the week before the club meeting. It usually feels like a huge task to get it done and I'm always running late getting it out, although this was probably one of the latest, since the meeting is tonight. I had some issues with Microsoft Word disappearing off of my laptop. I sent what I could to M and asked him to take care of a few things to finish it, which he did last night.

As the newsletter editor, I am sometimes concerned that I may offend someone or not provide relevant information. On the other hand, I have been completely unsuccessful in getting anyone to provide any content for the newsletter in the two years I've been doing it. The great thing about emailing the newsletter is that I get some updates from members in response and I love hearing about everyone's dogs and lives. And there are a couple of club members who respond occassionally to let me know they liked something they saw in the newsletter. Today, in response to the membership update I sent to the members, I got an email from a new (returning) club member with a correction who was appreciative of what I do for the club. I also got an email from a new club member who also had a minor correction, and wanted to let me know how much he and his dog are enjoying their new activities. Their nice comments made me smile!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Agility class

I am trying an 8 week session with Contact Zonies. Teka's Advanced II class is first; Cassi's Handling class is later. Their exercises were about the same though.

The first sequence was a circle (or horseshoe) of obstacles, but not taken in that order. The tunnel was on one end, and facing it, there was a tire hoop and a jump on the left and a serpentine of 3 jumps on the right. For Teka's class, we did the jump, tunnel, tire, the right end jump, round to the middle jump, and out to the left jump. She did it perfectly. Her last time through, we did the opposite sequence and she dropped a bar; the instructor said it looked like she got lazy. (tired?) In Cassi's class, we switched it up more but she did really well in each case. The tire proved to be the challenge. We had it lower (16"?) but she kicked it every time; in one case, hard enough that another student asked if she was okay. I have to get my tire fixed or get a breakaway tire to practice with her!!!

The next sequence was an A-frame with a curved tunnel underneath, headed out to a jump on each end (45 degrees from each other, so one was a discrimination), with a tunnel to the 3:00 from the end of the A-frame that did not have a tunnel discrimination. Teka's sequence was the A-frame to the jump, wrap to the tunnel open next to the A-frame, coming out to the jump on the side, switch to the teeter. She loves the teeter, so she made that part look easy! We also did it with a couple of front crosses, which actually made it more smooth for Teka. Cassi's class did more variations, such as starting on the side jump, into the side tunnel, out the tunnel by the A-frame exit, out around the jump to come back over it, over the A-frame. We had a LOT of trouble with that "out" and I had to basically block her from going over it. We also had a couple rounds with the teeter at the beginning (going around to the A-frame entry, out around the jump, into the tunnel, over the side jump) or end (like Teka's sequence), and she did the teeter with NO problem, no hesitation. And lots of treats.

Our last exercise was two pairs of straight tunnels next to each other (yellow, blue, then a large space, then green, and orange) with a purple curved tunnel at one end and two jumps at the other end, kind of angled, one from each pair of straight tunnels. We did a lot of variations, but essentially working on "out" without blocking the inside tunnel. We ran down the middle while they took the tunnel or out tunnel and so on. Teka had some trouble and actually went between the pairs of tunnels a couple times, but mostly got it. Cassi did really great except at one turn when she kept coming back out of the tunnel after she entered it. (Basically backing out!) I started telling her to go on while she was inside and she was able to complete it.

These seemed to be fun exercises for both the girls. The only incident worth noting is that during Teka's class, a young boxer decided to take a run around to find someone to play with, and he got into a bit of a scuffle with the dog in Teka's group who was on the teeter at the time--he jumped off when the boxer approached. Teka started to act like they were playing and she wanted to, but when they started scuffling, she started growling and lunging, so I grabbed her and held on until the boxer was under control again. I'm glad (I think) that she wasn't the one on the teeter. But maybe since that's her favorite obstacle, she would have stayed and I could have dealt with the boxer instead of dealing with her. I am her protector, after all!

30 Days of Gratitude

Tonight, I returned to the Contact Zonies Agility Club training. I decided to try it for this 8 week session to see if I can make it work. I generally have a good time with my dogs and I enjoy a lot of the people. Like most of the training clubs, the participants help with setting up equipment (for the early class) and putting away equipment (for the late class) and the trainers are volunteers (with perks). That is in contrast to private training facilities, which generally do their own set-up and tear-down and of course, the staff are paid.

My options for getting to class every week are: work at home and drive the 40-60 minutes to class (defeating the purposes of working at home--no commute and more time to add to my hours); work at the office and M brings the dogs (he will only do this as an exception, not every week); or board the dogs while I work at the office (adding another expense, in addition to needing to find an appropriate kennel for both Cassi's and Teka's issues). So, for now, I'm going to try working at home and making the drive, although M will have to run the dog bus at least once during the session.

I got a very warm welcome back. It seemed that everyone was glad to see me and the girls.

Oh, before I went to class, I went by the old house and one of my neighbors said she missed us and was sad to see us go. I thought that was very sweet.

I'm grateful for relationships, however brief or lasting they may be. And dog people--we're crazy, crazy about our dogs!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

So there were only two students in my class tonight, including me. We got all the attention of both instructors. And Cassi was on fire. It was a great confidence boost to see her having fun and being excited about whatever was next. I may have to get her into a trial pretty soon.

Weave 201B

Cassi and I had a great time tonight. We did a sequence with two jumps--she had to jump over one, round to the other, then come between--then on to the weavomatic with a jump and a table at that end, and back through the weaves, to the jump out to the right (front cross) and around. It took a little practice.

Then we moved to a sequence with a tunnel to two jumps, round to the channel weaves (she got the entry perfect!!!), then an odd out/round to the "wrong" side of a jump, back to the tunnel, weaves, round to 2 jumps. We worked on the weave to odd jump a bit, but I was really happy about her weave entries.

The last was a circle sequence like we did last week with Teka. There were 2 6-pole weavomatics separated by a good space and 3 jumps. I had to stay far from the weaves and let her get it, and she did all but once. She rocked it so well that D said she needs to get into handling class. (I didn't tell her that I'm doing a semester with Contact Zonies, my previous training group.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Today was not a good day overall. Besides dealing with work stress, I was in quite a bit of pain most of the day. M was in the garage when I got home and he knew right away that I wasn't feeling so hot--I could barely walk from my car into the house. I went and laid on the floor with my feet up for a while, until I felt a little better so I could make dinner. As I was laying on the floor, Cassi and Teka took turns making me laugh, acting goofy, wiggling their bodies, trying to kiss me, plopping down "next" to me--which for Cassi means halfway on top of me, rolling over on their backs and looking at me upside down. I'm grateful that I have goofy dogs and a pretty understanding husband.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

One of the most frustrating things I deal with is Teka's attitude towards other dogs. We don't want anyone getting hurt or traumatized by her, but we also think she needs more socialization (I'm not sure that's the right word) to get over her issue. We took Cassi and Teka to the hunt test and put up the kennel and playpen around the back of the truck so they would have a little room but be protected from loose dogs.

Yesterday, while I was walking Teka around, she got excited about a Weimaraner named Zeke who we know and she used to play with. He was in his pen with his "brother" Max. Teka and Zeke flirted through the wire pen. She made herself into a cashew shape and showed him her butt and tried to kiss him and playbowed and otherwise acted silly. She went to Max and he growled and she just left and went back to Zeke. (Okay, she may have grumbled under her breath, but I didn't hear it and she didn't bare her teeth or anything that appeared aggressive.) Just to test that it wasn't a fluke, I took her back later and she still flirted with Zeke. Today, she was still a flirt with Zeke.

The enclosure has worked so well in the past, so I was surprised to see her come around the trailer into the secretary's station this morning. She was running with Greta, an intact female Weimaraner that she has been snippy with in the past. She was trying to kiss her and being very playful. I didn't even realize it was Teka until I saw her collar.

A short time later, she and Cassi both got out of the enclosure and came running up to look for M. (Take us hunting!) They ran right through all the dogs hanging out and she didn't pay any attention to anyone. I put their kennel up front by the trailer and they hung out. She did snap at Cherry through the wire mesh front when Cherry ran up to the kennel; otherwise, she was such a friendly dog all weekend.

I'm glad she is showing signs of possibility!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

The desert is so beautiful. People who don't get it just see, well, as my cousin said, rocks and brown. But I see shades of green on a brown base, against a background of mountain ranges, under a blue sky like no other. And the sunrise is gorgeous. Why am I awake during the sunrise on a Saturday? A hunt test at Robbins Butte--only a 25 minute drive from the new house. A day with dogs and dog people. Flying the flag over the test site, watching it blow in the wind. A hill behind us, made up of dark colored lava rock and green brush growing in between. A challenge to come back to see if the stranger (stranger danger?!) who stopped by is correct--he said you can see Indian ruins if you get to the top. (We're a little doubtful since we've seen people go up, but maybe they didn't go all the way.) It's a tough climb, so we'll come back another (cooler) day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

The truck is in the garage! One vehicle in, two to go. My awesome father-in-law finished the paint for us and it looks awesome. (MIL is pretty awesome too.)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

There are some less-than-desirable things about Facebook, such as the games, the spam, the questionable security policies. However, I like keeping up with my friends and family who post photos and updates about their lives. Sometimes, they post funny or interesting links. I like several pages that post medical or other news information, too.

This has to be one of the funniest things I have seen as a status update on Facebook:

1. Go to Google maps. 2. Go to 'get directions'. 3. Type in Japan as your starting location. 4. Type in China as your ending location. 5. Go to step #43. 6. Laugh and repost!!

I added (based on one of the comments left on my friend's update):

When you're done laughing your arse off, try Japan to Seattle, step #27. You're welcome.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

We went to dinner with friends to celebrate K's birthday. We had a great time having pizza (K's fave!) and beer. While we were there, the boys overheard a couple at a nearby table who were apparently having a first date. He made a comment about something she said--he felt he could not be with her because of whatever it was. (Secondhand stories are confusing, aren't they?!) It wasn't going well for her, but he kissed her anyway.

I'm SOOOO grateful that I no longer have to date. Okay, really, I'm grateful that I am married to M. We get the best part of dating without the worst part of dating. Most of all, he's my best friend; he props me up and makes me better. But don't tell him I said so!

CFLs are killing us

I may be considered a treehugger, but I have issues with CFL bulbs. We don't have them in our house. We had a few in our old house and they sucked. They burned out within a year or two. In a bathroom. And made a popping sound with a horrible smell and visible fumes when they quit working.

I soon realized that people don't know they have to dispose of them "properly" so the mercury is ending up, well, wherever it ends up. If it is slightly inconvenient to properly dispose of them, it won't happen!

And now, add this to my list of why we don't have CFLs in our house: dirty electricity.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude--Election Day

Today: Election Day. We moved just in time to NOT get our mail in ballots. I checked online with both my drivers' license number and my voter ID number, and was told to go to our old polling place. At lunch, I made the drive, to find out that I could NOT vote there since I no longer live in the area. They sent me to my new polling location. So after work, I headed home and stopped at the school to vote.

The volunteers at both locations were helpful and kind, even when I was annoyed. I am grateful I live in a country where I have the right to vote, or not vote, just like everyone else. USA!!!

Weave 101B

Teka liked the first part of class. She got to run on the dog walk on her way to the weaves. After working on shaping, she got to take a turn on the teeter. Shaping was challenging; D helped out with getting her around the third pole.

Next we worked on channel weaves with toys and she did well. We moved on to a sequence of tunnel, 2 jumps, turning into weaves on the left, back to the tunnel left side, out the right to two jumps, into the weaves on the right. The weaves were the weaveomatics and I started with them too open, but D closed them up. Teka did better when I did NOT use my hands around the weaves. Hmmm!

Last we did 2 6-pole sets with 3 jumps making a circle. Teka had very good distance, and again I had the weaves open too much but closed them up and she did well.

At the end, Teka and I played with her toy and I ran her through the weaves again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

I follow "but you don't look sick" on Facebook. Christine of the Spoon Theory has challenged those of us with chronic illness to a month long celebration of gratitude. She says:

Sometimes it is easy to focus on all the pain in our lives when we live with chronic disease, but in the month of November, let's try once a day to find at least 1 thing to be Thankful for.

Some days it is hard to be thankful, but I certainly am, for so many things. So let's get it on!

Today, I am grateful for my favorite clients. They are a cute elderly couple, so obviously each other's best friend and life partners. They seem about 20 years younger than they are. They are active, long distance bike riders. He has been battling an illness; the treatment has caused him to lose some weight (that he didn't have to lose), but he is getting back to normal. When I said that today, he said, laughing, that he is back to normal, but we can see that his clothing is not filled out yet. I dread the day either of them leaves us, and it frightens me that it might be sooner rather than later. I pray for their good health and am grateful that he has pulled through this challenge so far.