Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Good by, All. I'm going off line until the Internet (dial up? maybe...) gets established at the new place.

I've made three trips so far with my car packed full. The idea is to save money on moving day since we are paying some guys. That is good, but not so good for my body. I've always felt kinship with the Garth Brooks song, "Much Too Young To Feel This Damn Old" and today I should be blaring that. After unloading at the new place, I came home and collapsed. Both elbows hurt, one tingling with a dull pain, the other has a sore muscle. My siatica (no idea how to spell that) is giving me random shooting pains and I over all felt like I had been run over by a steam roller (like in "A Fish Called Wanda." Good movie.) I still have some things I can load in my car (agility equipment) and I still have to take the kennel down. Sigh.

Speaking of agility equipment, the contact obstacles I ordered are arriving tomorrow. Not the best timing but at least they didn't come 2 weeks ago and we would have to move them.

Knotty is still doing well. Next week I can have the test redone and the vaccine won't interfere with it and I'll know if she actually has distemper, or only kennel cough.

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Hand!

Thought I'd play a little Hearts while the puppy ate dinner. My very first hand went rather well. I shot the moon! I think I'll save this game and come back to it later because it is getting late. Yawn.

Why Do I Have So Much Stuff?

While it is a rhetorical question, it is also serious. How much stuff does one person need?

I really like long jackets. Jackets that come almost to the ground. I have a long wool cloak, a fake fur cloak, a leather jacket that comes to my calves and some other assorted jackets that come to my knees. This is all well and good but there are two problems. One- I live in So Cal and all these jackets are too warm and Two- I never go out to a place where I could wear a nice jacket.

I have other stuff along the same lines. Holiday decorations, fancy hats, stuff left over from when I was a kid. When you live in a small place, you don't have room for all this stuff. I had good storage opportunities at this house. At my new house, I'm going to have even more, so I'm worried I will accumulate more stuff. I'll have to be careful.

Of course, some of my overflowing stuff is legitimate. Uniform pieces I was issued at basic training but haven't had a use for (yet,) various luggage pieces- civilian and military, and books. Lots of books. Books are a pain to move, but I won't get rid of them. I love my books. I read my favorites over and over. I have lost count of how many times I've read "The Blue Sward," "The Hero and the Crown," "Podkayne of Mars" and "To Say Nothing of the Dog." I have many other favorites that I have read just as often but I don't have time to list them all. Nor do I think people are very interested. Recently I have tried to branch out and read new books, instead of re-reading my favorites. Which is how I came to read "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell," which it turns out is Claire's husband (the Famous Army Man's) favorite. I also read a few Agatha Christies, "Duma Key" by Stephen King (good but everyone dies as is typical SK) and others which I don't remember. Then after being so different, I reverted back to my old ways and re-read the entire Harry Potter series. The last one is particularly good.

I began reflecting on all my stuff since I put about a 1/3 of the small stuff in my car. That Buick holds quite a bit, which is why I bought it. It is medium sized, but with all the rear seats out, it has a large volume cargo capacity. In addition to the load yesterday, I reckon I have one more load of stuff that I can move before we move the furniture and TV and things on Thursday. Today I didn't unpack everything I put in. I was too worn out by putting it all in. Tom arrow I'll unpack it at the new place and maybe do my last load on Wednesday, or at least start it on Tuesday. I'm going to skip agility.

Someone came to look at the place today. She didn't ask to fill out an application, and I couldn't tell if she liked it or not.

Knotty (the pup- named for the knot in her tail) is still doing great. The general consensus is she has kennel cough and not the deadly and dreaded distemper. But I won't know for sure unless she suddenly gets very sick or in two weeks we can re-do the test. Lady in the Lad books had distemper as an adult and recovered after three months. The golden retriever in The Watchers also got it and recovered. When he caught it his owner found him collapsed on the floor with the words "Fiddle Broke" spelled with scrabble tiles (he was a genetically engineered dog with human intelligence) and every time I check on Knotty I'm hoping her fiddle isn't broken. (Fit as a fiddle.) I considered naming her Fiddle, but that didn't strike me as a good dog name.

Now I'm off to start changing my address with all of the utilities, agencies, clubs, etc. I'm getting pretty good at this. Our new house has a 2 year lease. Maybe I can live there until I die. Assuming that I die as an old lady and not next week.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ventura Agility Show

The agility show this weekend was in Ventura. That worked out well since I had to leave 1/2 way through the day to drive home to potty the puppy. She is sick (more in another post) so she can't come with me to shows. Since she is young she can only go so long until she has to go. I wasn't sure if I'd be back in time for Fancy's last run (Standard) so I asked one of my friends to run her. I wasn't sure if Fancy would run for anyone else. I picked Sara to run her because her lab Ellie runs pretty similar to Fancy.

After getting stuck taking a detour, I did get back too late. However, after receiving lots of hot dogs and hamburgers, Fancy did run for Sara and got a Q and 14 Mach points! The next day I repeated the process and Sara was all set to run her again, but I got back in time. Too bad, because I messed Fancy up, and we NQed.

Pie had a good weekend. On Saturday she Qed with a second place in Jumpers and maybe 15 Mach points. Today she got Double Q number 6 and got 14 points in jumpers and 12 in Standard. I believe we are now qualified to attend the AKC Nationals, if we so choose.

We worked out the problems with the new landlord and signed the lease this morning before the show. I started packing last night and I'm going to start moving boxes that will fit in my car right now.

More later! (Although I'm not looking forward to blogging on dial up.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some Tweets In My Blog

If I was on Twitter, I could Tweet these things, but I don't like the idea of Twitter, so instead I'll just do a really short blog post.

The new landlord is being difficult, so the move is postponed until we work things out. Hopefully we will know more tomorrow. I already have people lining up for my old place, so we have to work it out quickly.

At the new place I will have dial up only, so that might affect my blogging.

The puppy is sick. I bought some natural remedies in addition to the things the vet gave me.

I'm heading off to the Ventura County Fair with Kate and Jason.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New House

If I had a Magic 8 Ball, it would read, "My sources say Yes." if I asked the question, "Am I going to move into a three bedroom house in the country with my own agility yard and will my desire of training beginning students in agility come to pass?"

Kate and I are renting two houses that share the same lot. I suppose it is a duplex, but they do not share a wall, instead, they are connected by a covered and enclosed breezeway, which will be for storage.

Here are some pictures. This is actually Kate's house, but mine is almost exactly the same, just opposite.
The front yard. This will be my agility yard. My house is the far one.
The back yard looking towards the horse coral which will have sod added and will be Kate's agility yard. We are going to put a picket fence up in the back yard for a dog potty and hang out area. The dirt is part of the drive way which circles the whole house.
Kitchen. I'm standing in the eating area. I will have a table again! The (small) bathroom is the door on the right behind the trash can. One bedroom at the end. My bedroom does not have the door to the outside like this one. The courter tops are granite and the back splash is tumbled marble. I say the houses are almost exaclty the same because in addition to not having the side door, I also don't have the little piece of counter by the fire extinguisher. My dishwasher is in a different spot, so I suppose that accounts for the difference. Since Kate cooks and I don't we decided she would be better off with the extra counter space. My kitchen feels bigger since it is missing that counter.
Computer area in kitchen. This will probably be my dog feeding spot.
Living room with front door. The couch is to make it look lived in. It has been vacant for almost a year, which is why they are so happy to have two people move in. Behind me there are two openings into the living room. The living room isn't that big, but since I have three bedrooms, I will have plenty of room.

One bedroom. The medium sized room has the largest closet- it is a walk in! All the closets have lights. In addition to the closets there is also a pantry and a linen closet.

Another bedroom.

And the third room. One room is small, and the other two are closer to normal size. I think the approximate square footage is 1200, which is the most room I've had so far, although the Rosewood Apartment was close.

My plan is to have one of the larger rooms be my "office" with computer, bookcases and dog stuff. Then my bedroom and I have no plans yet for the small room. I'm hoping I can have a full sized couch, but that is not a priority. We are going to pay for the fencing of the fields- that is a much higher priority.

It is all very exciting! I get to live in the country!

Videos of the Pupster

Am I cute, or what?

Kurt pet me and it felt so good!

Malinos rescue needed a foster home for a three month old puppy. I said I could take her, but not until Monday, because of the Laguna Beach trip. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that even though there were two offers to transport her, it turned out that since I was going right by the shelter on my way home, why didn't I pick her up?!

I explained that I was not driving and it would inconvenience my parents, but that wasn't good enough. My parents graciously agreed to stop at the shelter vet and pick her up. At least the Mal Rescue person had taken care of the hard part. Which is standing in three different lines at the animal shelter- about an hour each line. I've done that. Not fun.

I hope picking up the puppy didn't foil other plans for Sunday morning. The puppy and I both thank the parents for making the short stop to pick her up.

The puppy is probably younger than three months. Maybe 8-10 weeks. She is friendly, outgoing and bold. And a typical Belgian puppy.

Her tail has a kink and a bump. Kate said she might have been crammed in the womb and it got broken in there. Possessed Puppy. Playing Puppy.

Laguna Beach

On Saturday I traveled to Laguna Beach with Mom, Dad, and Craig. The occasion was Mom's birthday. Even though her birthday was back in July, one of her presents was tickets to "Pageant of the Masters." How lucky is it that I get tickets to a neat event courtesy of someone else's birthday?
We stayed at the Art Hotel. Here is some of the Art.

Craig demonstrates how to use a bed at the Art Hotel. It is a very artistic pose.

Mom and Dad have been going to the PotM for several years. This is the first time I went. For those who don't know, the general idea is people and props are made to look like famous works of art, displayed on stage for 90 seconds while a narrator speaks, the curtain closes for maybe 60 seconds and then a new work of art is displayed. It might sound like a simple idea in concept, but in person it is truly amazing. I think the most impressive were the statues. The people completely covered in body paint, not moving a muscle- they truly looked like a work of art. Some of the paintings were better than others. The traditional last work of art displayed is the Last Supper. For some reason, I didn't find this one too impressive. I thought maybe the wigs on the actors looked like wigs, and not like actual hair.

We got to Laguna Beach early and the PotM didn't start until eight, so first we walked to a vista point.
Here are some things we saw at the vista point.
A very crowded beach.
A sea lion statue.
A paddle surfer looking at
Seal rock. It also had birds, so maybe it should be called Seal/ Sea Lion and Bird Rock.
Some rocks forming tide pools.
Then we walked to the town center. Then we took the free bus back to our hotel, where we then walked to dinner at a yummy pizza and Italian restaurant. After that we walked back to the PotM, and looked at all of the art displayed outside the theater. Shortly after that, we went into the theater (which is actually an amphitheater) and saw the main attraction. The evening was wrapped up by taking the non-singing trolley back to the hotel. I say it is the non-singing trolley because I had read in a flyer that the festive atmosphere encourages people to break into song spontaneously on the trolleys. And sure enough as the trolley ahead of us pulled out of the station, the driver conducted the passengers in a song, which I do not remember at this time. Our trolley did not sing. Nor did the passengers or driver.

An artistic seating location in Laguna Beach.

While we were walking around the town, I was besieged by phone calls. Most of you probably know I usually get on average three calls all week. But I am in the middle of maybe moving to a new house and also trying to arrange for a Malinois puppy to get out of the shelter. So Kate kept calling me regarding the house and the Malinois rescue lady kept calling me about the puppy. I felt like one of those important people who always have to answer the phone. The timing was really bad, but in this case I did actually have to answer the phone. More on the house and puppy later.

On Sunday, we got up late (some later than others) and drove home, with a short side trip.
That is a recap of my weekend in Laguna Beach.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

And I stayed home. Because what else would one do on a dark and stormy night?

The problem with fiction writing is you have to have ideas that other people are interested in reading. And then you have to convey those ideas in an interesting manner. Already I've used the same unimaginative word in two sentences. Not very interesting. (There I go again.)

But speaking of dark and stormy nights (last night was very bright and not dark at all due to the full moon) and other creepy things, I was just driven inside at dusk fall. Again. This time not due to creepy, carnivorous, gigantic bugs (although the mosquitoes were a factor,) but by bats. And despite my admonishments to my own mother about a week ago that bats to NOT fly into people's hair, I couldn't help feeling they were getting awfully close. I know they have the whole sonar thing going on, but everyone can make a mistake, and I didn't want this bat's mistake to be smacking me in the head. Besides, he was bigger than most of the bats I've seen around.

Did you know that if you wake up with a bat fluttering around your room, you should assume you've been bit and the bat had rabies? Scary, but true. Bat bite wounds are so tiny you are unlikely to discover them. Therefore, this is bad news for the bat, because even if it wasn't a bad bat, you must still kill it and take it's body to a lab to determine if it did in fact have rabies. Very sad for the misfortunate bat. The article I read about this did not give any tips on how you should catch and kill the unlucky creature.

When Mom and I were in the Big Bear Museum, they had all kinds of (dead and tagged) animals. The note next to the bat said, "The bat is the only mammal other than birds that is capable of flight." I cast my mind back to my grade school days and came up with the definition of "mammal" which is "An animal that is covered in hair and gives birth to live young." As always, there are exceptions- I believe rattlesnakes give birth to live young, but they don't have hair. That is why in this case the insignificant "and" suddenly becomes important. A stranger example of the "gives birth to live young AND is covered in hair" rule is the platypus, which is a mammal and lays eggs. (Lesson time: There are five total species of mammals that lay eggs. Mammals that lay eggs are called monotremes.) However, laying eggs is the least wierd thing about the platypus (in my opinion, and isn't that what this blog is about?) They are venomous (also an abnormality in mammals) the females have two ovaries, but only the left one is functional (huh?) They suckle their young, but don't have teats (ok, this is getting too odd,) instead they have a trough or groove for the milk to run down and the young lap it up. Shall I go on or have you had enough? You can read more about the platypus here: Platypus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Soo.. to get back on track and not to make a short story any longer, I don't know who wrote that card about the bat in the Big Bear Museum, but I don't think the card should have mentioned birds at all: since they are not a mammal, they are not relevant. The bat is the only flying mammal. Period. (Besides birds. Just kidding.)

ANYWAY- before I was chased inside by a bat or bats, I was practicing agility with Blossom. I am working on weaves, back crosses, the tire and the chute. The tire is going well, the chute is progressing, back crosses are so-so and I'm not so happy with the weaves. Pie and Fancy were ahead of the learning curve, Blossom is behind. And now my weaves are broken. They rusted together (I've only had them since May!) and when I applied WD40 and pliers, instead of unscrewing, the screw snapped off. Talk about "Oh, snap."

PS- If I was to go outside on a Dark and Stormy Night, it would probably be because...

Like a Siren calling me to a watery grave, and that is Siren with a capital S because if it had a lowercase s one would hope it would warn me, and thus repel me from a grave, watery or otherwise- I was drawn outside by the hot, crackling beauty of the wild electric storm dancing across the vast openness of the dry Montana night, where, while I did not drown since it was not raining, I was struck down by over 300 kilovolts of raw energy, and before I slipped into the snugly comfort of a swoon, the type of snugly comfort such as when you wear feet pajamas, but not they type of swoon such as when you wear feet pajamas, because who swoons when they put on feet pajamas- maybe if you had a foot pajama fetish- I had time to smell my crisping, burning flesh, already flaking off my bones in the same manner that whatever it is that covers a hot dog flakes off in large flaky black flakes when you've left a hot dog under the broiler in your stove too long, and wonder why bad things came in threes: I was wanted by the Taliban for a crime I did not commit (I've told them 11 times in increasingly desperate emails that I've never even been to the Faryab area of Afghanistan and I really don't understand the sin it is I am accused of committing), my sister just informed me she was marrying my archenemies, the Rancher next door at the Old Skipin' T, and pet scorpion died and my truck broke an axle (I listed those as one since they are related,) AND I just got struck by lighting for the second time in six years and eight and one half months- I suppose that is four bad things, but I've found large amounts of electricity applied directly to the brain does odd things to your counting abilities, among other things.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Big Bear Post Published

Under the Somis Walk Post. Scroll down.