Sunday, March 16, 2014

Agility Trial

A nice trial this weekend.  Pie got a QQ (and 2 firsts) and Dottie got 2 Qs but only 1 on each day.  On Saturday in Standard Dottie had the fastest time of all the dogs in all the heights!

Beef Bones!

The only grocery store in my new town didn't have most of the food I wanted, but the butcher next door had just what the dogs wanted!

Dottie couldn't be bothered to lay down!

Muffin's bone was almost as big as him!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Mardi Gras!

Pie says, "Laissez les bons temps rouler!!"

Of course this is a genuine Mardi Gras mask bought when I was in Nah Lins (New Orleans) on Mardi Gras a few years ago.  I had beads as well but a certain young girl pulled on them and they broke.  Pie doesn't need beads to let the good times roll though.  The good times are always rolling for Pie!  She had an especially good day since she got to practice agility in the yard after Dottie's session, then went on a long (3 miles, so not long at all if you are my mother) walk with me and the other girls looking for the Post Office.  We never found it and when we made our way home I drove to it instead.  However, on all the outgoing boxes there the pick up isn't until 5 pm!  I have something that has to be post marked by tomorrow so who knows if they will post mark it after 5, or just pick it up.  I decided to not take any chances and after all of that I will take it to a different city tomorrow.  The old post office building was neat though, with teller type windows, a metal radiator and old wood work.

AKC Nationals or Bust!

So.  We are going this year after all.  You may remember I entered Dottie, but decided I couldn't go because I didn't want Missy to have to go to a different foster home while I was gone.  So then my trainer M was going to take her and I was going to pay for her flight, Dottie's flight and 1/2 of the cost of her rental car and hotel and the person she was traveling with was going to pay the other half.  After that plan was made, I bought my house and suddenly no longer had cash to burn.  And on top of that, for some reason the travelers could not find a direct flight and the cost of the flight kept going up.  We all came to a decision to not go/ not send Dottie and I got to save my money for the new house.

Several weeks in the future (now) things have changed.  One of my FB friends was posting how he just got a direct flight so I asked him how much it cost.  Between his ticket and his dog's ticket (the dog costing slightly more) the price was mostly affordable.  I contacted AKC to see if I could un-withdraw and they said yes.  So I booked the same flight as the FB friend and we are going to AKC Agility Nationals!  The friend and I will share the rental car driving from DC to Harrisburg (in order to get the direct flight we had to fly into Dulles) and most likely I'll stay with ffluffy or another friend who might have more room.

I contacted some Aunts who live in PA.  Some live closer to Harrisburg than others.  Some may be able to stop by and say hi and some may not.  We shall see.

This will be my first time flying with a dog.  I hope all goes smoothly.  We are flying from Weds into Thurs, and our first walk through is Thurs at noon.  We arrive in DC at 7.  The friend feels we have plenty of time. I guess that will add to the excitement of the weekend!  The best news is the Monday we fly back is a CA state holiday: Caesar Chavez day.  That means I get it off of work and I won't be charged leave for the weekend.  I only will have to take 2 days off of work since we are leaving so late Wednesday.  Score!

I got motivated to practice since I have the big trial coming up now.  The yard is still not fixed up but at least there are no standing puddles.  Here is the little course I set up.  I could practice not taking the tunnel, tricky weave entries, backsides, pull throughs, 180s and of course keeping the bars up.  I found a dangerous weakness.  Dottie is confused between backsides and rear-crosses.  I hope I can clear that up for her.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Agility

I have two videos of Dottie from our most recent trial.  Pie also ran but wans't filmed.  Pie would have had a QQ but I was too tired to run all the way to the table (I need to eat more at trials) and then I got confused between her and Dottie and Pie needs a down command if I am going to lead out from the table.  I didn't tell her down and she jumped off.  Our only mistake!

Dottie's only mistake was knocking the last bar in standard.  At first I thought it wasn't my fault, but now I think I should take some credit.  I didn't feel like I pulled up too soon, but I should have been running harder in the end.  Oh well.  In jumpers she was clean and in first place.  There is a lady who moved here from TX, I think, who runs fast border collies.  One is a 24 inch dog and if both Dottie and her dog are clean we can't beat him.  If the course is tight enough, Dottie does turn better, but if it is a wide open course, he will win.  Dottie got first in jumpers since he knocked a bar.

Standard, friend didn't know how to use the zoom.


Storm Watch Twenty Fourteen

It's a joke around here that any time some rain is predicted, all the news stations start "Storm Watch: Insert Year Here."  Then when the rain comes they go out and film flooded intersections that probably wouldn't have flooded if the trash had been removed from the storm drain opening ahead of the rain.  The news anchors probably go around blocking the drains so they will have something to report on.

This time was different.  We have been so long without rain that ANY rain actually would be news.  And we were being promised a big storm.  I was excited but also really hoping my roof doesn't leak!  The home inspector said to keep an eye on it due to evidence of ponding.  I have a flat roof.  All the flat roofs on base leak, so I was somewhat worried.

The big storm arrived as promised.  In previous years it would rain in the winter and I'd look out the window in the morning and see it was raining and think, "It's raining again."  An inconvenience because I'd get wet, the roads would be dangerous, and dog training might be canceled.  When I woke up to the rain I realized how absent it had been because it should have just been an ordinary sight, but instead it seemed extraordinary.  And it was impressive in the amounts we were getting.

My back yard turned into a slippery, goey mud puddle and my roof did not leak!  However, upon inspecting it I saw it was not ponding, it is a pond!  Lots and lots of water up there.  Perhaps I should get a taller ladder and get up there with a push broom and push some of it away.

I took a short film so all the people who live in places with real weather can snicker that I took the time to film this.  But the rain!  And the wind!

Now the rain appears to be over and we are still in a drought.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Bit early for Easter, but here she is anyway.  She likes the wind up bunny, the ears not so much.  It didn't help for the picture that they were too loose and whenever she moved her head they came off! :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I used my "new to me" portable dishwasher for the first time last week.  I got it off Craigslist for $100.  They are about $600 new.  I watched a Youtube video on how to hook it up.

Where it is while running.  The pile o' stuff on the counter has since been put away.

What it looks like all hooked up.  Really easy!

The video was very helpful and the diswasher worked great.  It got my dishes cleaner than the brand new dishwasher at my old house!  But I think the super hard water in that town is to blame.  The dishwasher leaked a tiny bit.  It was less than the amount that you get when you accidentally kick a dog water bowl full of water though.  I put a towel down then used the damp towel to mop the floor a bit.

The dishwasher rolls away easily after use and gives me extra counter space.  I'm really happy with it.


I finally got a triple (from Contact Point last weekend) and to commemorate the occasion I tried to get a picture of both Mals going over at once.  This is as close as I got.  They wouldn't both release from the sit at the same time.  Weirdos.

While I was taking pictures of the dogs this helicopter thing flew over.

Crazy Hair Missy

Missy was having fun sitting on Nana's lap eating a snack.  Kerby was getting up close hoping for a taste.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chair and Naptime Fun

While Mom, Dad and Youngest Bro were visiting my new house on Saturday, Missy entertained us by having fun in her little chair.  Every time she climbed in, we'd clap and she'd clap along and laugh and laugh!  So cute!

Speaking of people visiting, here is the proof!

Today I was unpacking the "library" and having a toddler "helping" is even more unhelpful than having a Malinois "helping."  I put Missy in her room with toys and her blankie.  Since the rooms are across from each other she could see I was close by.  I left her diaper off since that is helpful in preventing rashes.  She decided to be super cute and take a nap on the floor.

First she was in a different position each time I checked on her.

Then she even changed locations.

Thanks to her nap, I was able to get the "library" unpacked and put together.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I remembered to bring the strawberries I signed up to bring for Missy's VDay class "party" and I remembered to dress her in her VDay outfit AND take pictures, but I totally forgot to get her VDay cards to hand out!  In my defense (thanks for pointing this out, Mom) the daycare didn't send home insturctions about what we could or couldn't bring and how many to bring, so buying some didn't even cross my mind.  One boy brought everyone a white rose.  Another mom made homemade cookies- they were ymmy, thanks for sharing Missy.  Only one child handed out the store bought cards, the rest of the kids (moms) did something personalized.  Perhaps it is the best I didn't do anything!

Missy gives Fancy a VDay hug.

And Fancy responds with a VDay kiss! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

First Day in Our New House

There was some confusion or misinformation about when I would close and then when I would get the keys.  First I was told Monday, then it was moved back to Wednesday.  My friends were going to help me start moving Monday night, but they were able and willing to reschedule.

I signed all the paper work on Friday after work.  The Notary that works for the escrow company explained each page, and I trusted her explanation and signed.  Hopefully I didn't sign my life away.  The number of pages to be signed was not too out of control.  After signing the closing documents, I zoomed over the the brand new bank just down the street, in order to wire the closing funds before the bank closed and before I was late picking up Missy.  Not only was the bank brand new, it was also empty!  I've never been in and out of a bank so quickly!  Alas, the funds would not wire until Monday since the cut off time is 11 am.  

On Wednesday I received the good news that the loan had closed and the keys were being released to me.  It sounded like they were being held hostage and in a way I suppose they were.

It is a lot of keys, they all seem to do the same thing.

My friends showed up after work and we started moving.  Missy supervised from her booster seat while eating left over mac and cheese from Red Robin.  Yummy but horribly messy!  

K brought her trailer to move the agility equipment and a bunch of other outside things, B brought her little truck and G and her husband M brought a crossover that we stuffed full of boxes.  A bit later E showed up with her cargo van.  At that point K and B took off for the new house to start unloading.  When G's SUV was full they left also.  E and I threw a few more things in her van and my van and then we departed as well.  By the time I arrived at the new house, the only vehicles left to unload were the cargo van and my van.  My friends really hustled!  We piled everything in the garage, out the back, and in the spare room.  It kind of reminded me of a hoard of locusts, but instead of eating everything in sight, they deposited all of my earthly belongings, then disappeared just as quickly as they came.  Your true friends are those people who volunteer to help you move, or who show up when you ask for help.

Just some of the things we moved Weds night.
Missy, Fancy and I at the new house after the box moving was complete.

Missy and I headed home and I added some more things to the van.  I noticed we forgot a lot of small items in the shed, and I knew that would slow the movers down tomorrow.  But we did get so much done, it wasn't a terrible tragedy.  The next morning before the movers came I threw even more things in the van such as my bath mats, towels, bedding etc.

I hired the movers off of Craigslist and since they didn't make me pay a deposit or anything I was hoping they were going to show up.  Much to my relief, they arrived, only a few minutes late, as I was taking apart Missy's crib so it could fit out of the door.  Happily, I only had to take the front panel off.  I showed the guys what needed to be moved (everything) and then took Missy to day care.  The movers advertised "2 Guys and a Truck" for $50.  I wish I had hired them for all of my moves.  Dealing with UHaul is such a pain, and with the mileage, those trucks end up expensive.  Then I also have to pay the guys I hire to move, but they are never professional movers, usually younger relatives of the guys at work.  Hiring guys who actually know how to move, bring tools and have their own truck is the way to go.  Plus, I think it was cheaper than any of my other moves.  There was plenty of room in their huge truck, but moving all the boxes and outside stuff a head of time probably saved me from paying for 2 to 3 hrs with the pro movers.

The big truck.  I felt silly taking a picture so I tried to hide and didn't get a good pic.

The movers had to take the door off the fridge to get it into the kitchen (but their power tools meant it took 2 seconds), and getting the crib into the bedroom was challenging, but after turning it around and around like a rubic cube, (the head mover had a plan, he just had to get it positioned correctly) it went in no problem.  I was impressed.  Other than that the move was nice and smooth.

After the movers departed, I began the unpacking.  I started with the garage because the stove was coming and as it was, nothing was getting through.  Plus, I wanted to know if my van was going to fit or not.  The garage is very narrow (1 car) so I had trouble finding a place for everything.  A shed might be in order.  After the garage was organized I was happy to learn the van does fit and I can get out.  But I better not gain any more weight!  Right now I have the luggage rack on the back in anticipation of the agility trial this weekend, and with it folded down the garage door would not close, so the van is outside for now.

After the garage I moved to the spare room.  My friends did not stack the boxes in the spare room so while the movers were here, I wasn't able to have them put the book cases in the room.  I re-arranged the boxes to make room, then dragged the book cases in and installed the shelves.  I stored items in the spare room closet and unpacked several boxes.

The gas man was scheduled to come turn on the gas today, and the new stove was getting delivered today also.  I was getting very hungry but couldn't leave due to the appointments so I ordered Dominoes.  It hit the spot.

I take a break and the dogs help.

Missy's room was next.  I am happy to report her room is completely unpacked and set up.  The only thing missing is her wall decorations.  I did peel each little leaf and stem and heart and butterfly and hedgehog off of the wall in her old room and transferred them to parchment paper, so when I have the time they will be ready to be put back up in her new room.

I had to make a quick trip to KMart (no Target, oh no!) for electrical plug safety covers since I have no idea what box I put mine in and Missy has a outlet by her crib.  From here I went to pick up Missy from day care.  I was heading home so Missy could have dinner before SchH club, but there must have been an accident because the road was horribly backed up.   I turned around and went straight to SchH since it is closer to day care than our new house and by the time we might have gotten home, it might have been too late to set out again.  We didn't stay too long since Missy needed dinner.  Sadly, the drive is longer from SchH to the new house, and it involves a horribly steep canyon which I am not too fond of.

After SchH, I fed Missy dinner (another horribly messy hit- Ravioli this time, and grapes).  I made a little more progress in the kitchen while she was eating and after she went to bed I tested my new stove by making cookies.  Yum, perfect!  Stove works great.

After this blog is done (soon, I hope) I have a big pile of clean clothes to fold then it is time to go to bed for the first time in my first house!

Of course I'll have more to say about the house and how great it is (so much room!), but for now I wanted to remember my first day here.  My first day when I am totally done unpacking will probably be more fun, but less momentous.

Making some progress.
Testing the new stove.  Perfect!
New job for the 12 lb Rottie- door stop.
Take away the boxes and organize the toys and it looks pretty good.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dog Show Picture

But not the type you might expect.  This was taken by someone I don't know and posted to FB a few weeks ago.  I found it because they "tagged" me.

BTW- in my previous post about the spinach, I didn't mean to imply my poor eating habits are the result of something my mother did or did not feed me.  I developed those habits after I moved out, and I am now trying to be better so Missy doesn't grow up thinking my bad habits are normal.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

At the Mueseum

On Martin Luther Kind Day, Nana, Missy and I went to the Los Angeles National History Museum.  I thought Missy might be too young to enjoy any of it, but it turns out she is a big girl!  She enjoyed looking at the exhibits.  Although I think her enjoyment might have mostly been because she was hoping/ expecting to pet the dinosaur bones and taxidermy animals.

Hoping to pet!

Starting the Silk Road Exibit- with camels.


More wanting to pet.

Nana and Missy walking in the "marsh."

A very large tree outside the museum with weird roots hanging from the branches.