Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Christmas Picture

Because nothing says "Merry Christmas" like forcing your dogs to wear absurd head gear.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Open Practice

Dottie's first CDX show is in 2 weeks. I've been doing little things here and there but today decided to get serious.

Today I actually used jumps and set them up as in a ring. Dottie did the retrieve over the jump and on the flat fine. She didn't try to take the jump on the flat. But on the drop on recall she kept taking the jump. I could get to to come straight to me by teasing her with the toy first, but as soon as I didn't do that, she'd take the jump again. I hope to fix it before the 2 weeks is up.

Pie was fine despite not doing any obedience for who knows how long. I ran out of time and didn't practice groups. Pie really needs to practice that though.

Since the grass is still growing in my yard (actually it hasn't progressed to much- disappointing) I had to lug the jumps to the park. I didn't get kicked out for having the dogs off leash so that is a plus. But the park is on a hill and there is no parking near the flattest section, so I had to carry the equipment a little ways. No one should be surprised that the jumps started to fall apart on the way back to the car and I left a little trail of forlorn objects. I made Pie pick up and carry one jump standard, but she was being bad and kept putting it down. It probably would have been easier for me to just go back for it, but by that time it was a battle of wills.

Besides practicing obedience I did a lot of unpacking and putting things away and organizing the garage and putting items in the attic storage in the garage. I hope if there is an earthquake my car is not in the garage or there will be a travel touch board trainer, various wire and vari kennels, fans, a raised dog bed and a folding crate on my hood.

Fancy Abuse

Fancy abuse. Just arrest me now. The back was full of jumps, smaller storage containers and crates. I should have put her in the empty crate before loading the car up. Luckily Fancy is like a little weasel and fits in absurdly tiny places. Poor Fancy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Whoa! So This is What Sucess Feels Like?

We had a good weekend! After taking Friday off from our club's show, we showed (and worked) Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday ALL THREE DOGS Double Qed! I've never had that before! (Mainly because it was Dottie's first ever QQ!!!) Fancy's QQ got her qualified for the 2012 Nationals and Pie's was number 6 to Mach 3. That same day our club had a huge raffle and I won 2 baskets! I'm pretty sure it doesn't get ANY better than that.

Day 1!

Between the 2 raffle baskets, there were three toys. Perfect!

Fancy has a soft red heart.

Pie goes after the tag on Max the Dog.

He's yummy!

Oh no, Max!

Dottie starts off with the Gingerbread Man.

Then she moves onto the Heart.

Pie tries out GBM and chews the tip of his festive hat off.

Fancy takes over Max. Pie went back to him later and all that was left was his silly antler.

Dottie decimates the heart. It had brown stuffing.

I love the raffle!

This awesome Christmas bell collar was also in 1 basket.

I hate raffles.

Today I crossed my fingers to repeat our success but it was not to be. Pie had a bar down in jumpers and Dottie pretended something under the table was more exciting than getting on the table. Actually, she probably wasn't pretending- I agree the table is pretty boring too. I guess since she did the same thing the previous day she thought she'd get away with it again today. Nope. I picked her up and carried her all the way off the course and back to her x-pen. She got really heavy at the end!

Fancy came through and QQed again today. Surprisingly, this was enough to get us the High Scoring Club Member for Excellent, even though we didn't show on Friday. No one had more than 4 Qs for the weekend and as a tie breaker they went to points, and Fancy came out a head. What a good, dependable girl.

Fancy's ribbons.

Such good girls!

Friday, November 25, 2011

3 Dog Night (ie- 3 Sleeping Dogs)

Pie helped herself to the couch. Again. And this time she used the arm rest as a pillow for her poor tired head.

Dottie claimed the dog beds and curled up. Comment from youngest brother when I showed him the photo- I didn't know that dog slept.

Poor Fancy was left to sleep in the hallway. No bed, no couch, no love. :(

Dottie gets a close up because she is extra cute and small.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a tasty and thankful Thanksgiving! I know I did! I'm thankful for too much to list here, but I'll list the big 3: My family, friends, and dogs!

Good food and good family!

A bit of the preparation. Pie got the neck and she was thankful.

Nice Hike

Today I took a hike with my Dad and Dottie. I thought less dogs would be more enjoyable for him and since Pie has had her staples and stitches removed yesterday I wanted to give her one more day of restricted activity. Dottie obsesses over Fancy so I decided to leave her home also. It was like Dottie was an only dog.

The hike started on a closed section of road, went through some typical California scrub, then into a narrow, cool canyon, with lots of green growth and some flowing water. The floor of the canyon was cemented in some places for when cars used to drive through to get the the now closed and abandoned campground. If it was not cemented it would have been too eroded to pass through. It was a very nice and scenic hike for the day after Thanksgiving. Not very taxing either.

Starting off on the first part. A closed road.

Obligatory dog on rock picture.

Dad blazes the trail.

Dottie also blazes the trail.

Does this even look like CA?

The concreted in section.

The concrete was wearing away.

Dottie did not mind being an only dog on this hike.

This is what I look like with one dog. Do you even recognize me?


A very scenic and pretty waterfall.

Too bad it was so small.

Neat rock formation that the water flows around.

Dottie found this bottle and carried it into the stream then abandoned it. Everyone knows (except her) that once you interact with trash you are responsible for it. So I made her get it out of the stream and put it off to the side to pick up on the way back. She remembered the location and ran ahead to get it on the way back.

I make a successful jump.

Dottie gets a pet.

One of the many sticks Dottie found and carried.

Palm tree in an odd spot.

Interesting exposed rock face.

Pie did not get to come. She helped herself to the couch afterwards.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


UHaul has a $50 reservation guarantee. My truck was not ready as per my reservation. I had ridden my bike to the UHaul store so had no way to get to the other store where they had a truck. So the UHaul guy drove me to the other store in the supposedly broken truck. But he took me to the wrong store so then he had to drive me to a different store. I had to have the guy who put my sprinklers in drive me home after the move. BUT, the score is I got the $50 back which almost covered the cost of the truck and mileage. I'd say I earned it with that fiasco.

Monday, November 21, 2011

When Things Work, When Things Don't Work, and When I Fix Things That Don't Work

When Things Work:

I turned the sprinklers to Auto/ Run. I headed outside after 10 pm because I remember my co-worker saying that was 1 of the times he had set it for. Sure enough, the ground was wet! And to prove it was the sprinklers and not dew, there was a bit of over spray on the driveway (due to the shape of the yard.)

When Things Work II:

I used the washer and dryer today. Sure, I've used them before, but never when they are located in the kitchen and I wasn't sure how annoying, loud, or possibly hot it would be. It really wasn't bad. Except for the buzzer at the end of the drying cycle. That was loud!

When Things Don't Work:

My feet got all wet at SchH and I was looking forward to coming home and turning the heat on. But the pilot light was out! It was on earlier. Brrr.

When I Fix Things That Don't Work:

I turned to Google to tell me how to relight it. I had to search a few different pages. It turned out to be easy since I have an ignition switch. No matches necessary. However, it didn't work the first few times I tired. I could see the ignition sparking but it wouldn't light. I just kept at it and it eventually worked. Now my feet are nice and toasty and I will actually have to turn it down before I go to sleep or I will be too hot.

The washing machine is a tiny bit off balance and I can't get the foot to come down. I shoved and old magazine under there and it is better. Not sure if that counts as something I fixed or not.

I suppose I can count the yard as something I fixed, but I should wait for the grass to grow. Or else I will curse myself with "pride before a fall" and it won't grow.

Day 1- Grass

Remember last time I grew grass and the near daily updates? Well, get ready for that again. The landlady was going to put sod down, then said no. Then she was going to put sprinklers in then said her husband doesn't have time. She said she'd just throw some seed down and we'd water it with the hose. I said no. Well, not really. I said bring me the seed and I'd do it. I care about the outcome so I'd be sure to do it right. She withheld the seed until I bugged her enough about it. I got my co-worker to put in the sprinkler system at my own expense. I called me up to find out why I was putting in sprinklers without consulting her. I assured her it was completely removable and I wanted to point out I was improving the property at my own expense but did not.

I bought lawn topping soil and fertilizer. Put it all together today, then turned the sprinklers to automatic.

First I raked lightly. I had already raked the dead stuff, sprayed the weeds, then the owners put in some more top soil. Next I used the seed spreader and put the seed down. Then the top soil by hand. I was short by about 1 bag so in that section I raked lightly again to try to cover the seeds. I think I might buy another bag or 2 tomorrow because there is still a lot of seed exposed. Don't want the birds to eat the seeds and the seeds need soil to soil contact. The last step was the fertilizer. I had extra so I was going around again when I remembered that if you use to much you can burn the area. I hope I didn't do that!

It was getting dark as I was starting, so I brought out my agility light. The neighbor showed up and commented that the owner tried this about 2 months ago but all they grew was weeds. Thank you, Mr. Positive. But really, if all they did was put seed on top of the soil and hand water, I'm not surprised. I'll show them what happens when someone with an interest in the outcome does the growing.

Once the grass is grown I wonder who will cut it? I don't have a mower...

I also bought 2 plain gopher snap traps. I'll see if I have time to set them tomorrow. The area behind the house is one huge gopher warren. Stay away from my grass! In the store I saw a device where you hook your hose up to your car tail pipe and put it down a gopher hole and kill them with the CO2. Tempting... but it just doesn't seem safe.

Grow grass grow!

The Never Ending Move

I'd classify my first move as the easy move. Not only did I only have a bed, a desk and a tiny book case (and I was also sent away with a computer desk and a couch) but I think I was at drill that weekend so my dad and brother loaded up the truck without me. Then when the truck arrived at the apartment, I had people at drill with me help unload it.

I don't remember the move into my next apartment. Must have been uneventful.

The move to the guest house my dad helped again (thanks Dad!) For the last time, I believe. Probably the need to remove the door from the hinges to get the fridge in had something to do with it. I think older younger brother came also, but I don't recall. A friend brought her large SUV and took lots of the boxes. That move wasn't horrible.

Next, when I moved into the duplex for the first time my move was not bad. But a friend (at the time, apparently we are not friends any more) was moving into the other side the same day so we helped her move also and shared a truck. The problem was she had not packed! She was wrapping up glasses and putting things in boxes before we could carry it out. Both brothers left after moving me because they couldn't take it. I don't blame them one bit.

When we both moved out and into another duplex we shared the truck again. This time she was packed, but we decided to hire moving help. I had moved all my little stuff a head of time but she had not. So the movers spent all day moving all her stuff, including tiny items we could have moved, then they went home at 5 pm, leaving my stuff unmoved!

When I moved out later, I hired a guy I work with and his brother. They were hard workers, but had no clue about using space in the truck. This move took a while due to this being the first time I had a full set of agility equipment to move. As with the previous 3 times, I also hired someone to clean my house afterwards.

And now we are to the Never Ending Move. This move I hired two high school guys related to one my co-workers. The move itself took maybe 4 hrs. The first load was quick, but again, moving all the outside stuff took so long! And that didn't even include the large agility equipment. K came for that later, and we are storing it at her house.

I can't imagine how long it would have taken had I not moved all the boxes first. While we were moving, my co-worker was at the new house putting in a mini-sprinkler system. I picked up the parts on Friday. It is really neat. I have a mini-controller that hooks up to the spigot on the side of the house, then he ran pvc along the house and to my little yard. He buried the line in the front of the house to make it look better and to keep it out of the sun. Then there are 2 sprinkler heads up against the house. Basically it is just like running a hose out there, but it looks better and it is automatic!

Not only is the move Never Ending because I moved stuff for 2 weeks a head of time, then it took longer than I hoped on the move day, but the day afterwards, I STILL had stuff left. I don't know why I didn't move everything on moving day. I think I was trying to hustle the guys out.

Then, the next day, I still had to clean the house. I didn't finish cleaning it until today. I had to borrow an impact wrench to get the earthquake straps out of the wall. I think I did a really good job cleaning up. It is cleaner than when I moved it, so I hope to get my full deposit back.

Tomorrow I will pick up the rest of the items.

And yet, the move still will not be done because I have tons of stuff to still unpack at this house. How is that possible? There is so much stuff in the garage shoved in random places, but that will wait until I get the house organized. The "bedroom" and "living room" and bathroom are all good. It is the kitchen that is unorganized with boxes everywhere. And to make things move slower, I also started getting anxiety that my correspondence course with the AF is going to be due sooner than I think, so I need to get on that. Studying will take president over unpacking. I even had my recurring dream that I am in college at it is the last month of the semester and I have a huge project/ capstone due and I haven't even started it and there is no way to get it done with all the reading and source documentation. That is my deadline anxiety dream. My other dream involves my jaw being stuck closed and when I force it open all my teeth fall out. Gross and it hurts. Haven't been able to decipher that one yet.

It has been a very busy month due to the move and it isn't over yet...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Injured Pie and Moving Burn Out

Pie got hurt badly enough to need surgery to repair a hole in her abdomen. That was Monday. Today she says she wants to run around and be normal, but the vet says not even any leash walking until the stitches come out. The more she moves the longer healing will take. I'm thankful she wasn't hurt more because it was my fault. Her drain was going to come out today but since it is still draining the vet decided to leave it in until Friday. Pie is wearing a giant cone of shame. She is tolerating it well but right now for some reason she is pacing around and dragging it up against everything

Moving day is this Saturday and I still have some small things that need to go. But I am tired of so much moving. I have stuff in the car right now that I loaded up before I went off to train my obedience people and I was not motivated enough to take it over when I got back. I might unload it at lunch tomorrow when I take a guy I work with to the house so he can give me a quote on putting in sprinklers since the lady lady decided she is not going to do that after all. Pretty hard to get grass to grow with no sprinklers. I know you can't trust people and have to get everything in writing, for for some reason I did trust her. Wouldn't have done much good to demand it in writing since I haven't actually signed a lease yet.

I am trying to decide if I should do sod or seed. No decision yet.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Agility Close to Home

I love agility at this park. It takes me about 5 minutes to drive there. Maybe 7 if I get all red lights. I was worried we might get rained out this weekend but the rain was not enough Friday night to flood the grounds. So we got to play!

K was sick so she was not able to make it.

Dottie ran in excellent all weekend and had no Qs. She had some bars down, popped weaves, and an off course caused by poor handling. Also a teeter flyoff and a rear cross gone bad but both of those happened after we had already NQed. After we have blown it, I tend to try handling options I would not do in a clean run, and they usually don't work. But it doesn't matter and the upside is it shows me what she does and doesn't know.

I know I keep saying I expect to start Qing consistently any day, but soon it will change to, "I expect to Q any day." Forget about being consistent! But Dottie is still young and 1/2 the time it is my fault anyway. Today the bar down and the popped weaves were her fault.

Pie Qed in both of her Open P classes and got her Open Standard P title.

Fancy had a great, fast jumpers run until I pulled her off a jump. She was clean with a first place in Standard. No QQ for us. She was not entered yesterday.

After the trial one of my friends invited me to walk in a location I can only walk when she invites me. The access to the river bottom is through some family property. However, today the gate was locked and she didn't want to go home for the key, so we ended up sneaking in like any other hooligans who don't own the property. The dogs got to run, and run and run, and we never even made it to the river. Pie pulled her disappearing act twice. I have to keep a bell in the car for her. She comes back. Eventually. I don't know if she starts coming when I call and it just takes her a long time to show up since she is far away, or if she waits to see if really mean it. She is panting hard when she re-appears, so sometimes I think she comes right away, it just takes a while. Fancy and Dottie were very good and Fancy even managed to not get too dirty. The dogs needed that run. I took the Mals for a bike ride yesterday since they have been so hyper, but even that couldn't compare to this great run. It was just what they needed! And I had fun too.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Horse Back Riding!

I give it an exclamation mark because I was very happy to get to go. My horse riding tendencies, which have been with me since my earliest days, are always simmering under the surface. Around 2002 I couldn't ignore them anymore and bought a horse, Ranger, who didn't work out. I seemed to be spending more time getting thrown off than riding. Plus, I was in school full time and working full time. So he got sold.

Since then I went riding at least one time in Big Bear, but I don't think I've been on a horse other than that. A few dog people are also horse people, and I've been plotting how to worm my way into their horse riding circle.

Well, a chance presented itself and I eased gracefully into the conversation. "I'd love to go trail riding." I said. Simple, direct, and it worked!

Today I went for a couple hour trail ride. The trails were very close to the stable, but we trailer-ed to the trail head rather than ride to save time. The lady I was riding with actually owns the stable and the other lady is a dog and horse friend. My mount was owned by neither of them but is frequently used when someone needs to borrow a horse because his owner has 2 horses and needs someone to ride him. Hmmm.... sounds promising- now I need to quit my job to find time for riding.

The other 2 horses out with us was a paint colored Missouri Fox trotter and an Arab who was the mom of several other horses on the ranch. It is an Arabian ranch. My horse was a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Mustang! So cool. He was a wild horse until he was captured at 2 years old. They told me he was so easy to break to riding that they joke he wasn't really a wild horse, he was a tame horse who someone abandoned and he joined up with the wild horses. They also said he loves captive life because he was on an overnight ride near where he used to roam free and he got loose at night, but instead of heading for the hills of his youth, he spend the rest of the night pilfering the feed bags and was still hanging around in the morning.

I illegally stole this photo of him from a website. Shhh... His owner (and a lot of the people at this ranch) do endurance riding and he has done the 100 miles in one day ride. Crazy. He was very kind to me and didn't throw me off or try to run away with me. Which happens to me with horses more than I like to think about.

We almost didn't get to go because heavy rains was predicted but that did not come to pass. I can't describe the ride too much because nothing really noteworthy happened. We went up some hills and down some other hills. We had some trotting. We went through a little creek. We saw a few other riders but not very many. The strangest part of the ride was all the tennis balls abandoned along the trial. There must have been at least 10. All brand new looking.

It was a great time but it only encouraged me to want to ride more. I really, really wish we still got to work 4 10 hr days because then I would have time. In winter it gets dark so early that even if I rushed over from work I don't think there would be enough time to get a ride in.

I hope to get to go again before too long. The owner of the horse is always looking for new "victims," so it could happen. But when?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Moving= Ugh.

Today I filled the Buick up for my most massive trip so far. Actually, the trusty Buick was not full, and could have accepted even more stuff, but I had packed and lugged enough for 1 day.

Fitting in the boxes just so to maximize space.

When you are not using a moving truck, not everything needs to be in a box.

All loaded up for tonight.

Side view.

And now, some pictures of the new place.

From the kitchen/ laundry room looking towards the bedroom/ living room. Yep, it is a studio.

View looking the other way.

Bathroom is not too tiny.

View from the front door.

My very first garage. I share it with a Jeep Forward Control.

The storage closets in the garage where a lot of the stuff is going.

All unpacked and bringing the boxes back to the old/ current house for recycle/ reuse.

Quick shot of the yard. Fence is going up as promised. I plan to weed spray the yard on Wednesday. This is pretty much the whole yard, although it does wrap around the back of the house as well. About 1/2 of that will be the potty spot.

My next load will likely be the contents of the shed that fit in my car. Most of that stuff will be stored in the garage above the rafters. The final load will be fans, lights, chairs, etc. Then there will be a few more trips on the Friday before I move to take things like my computer, DVD player, drawers to dressers, microwave. That will leave only the big items that don't fit in the Buick (but not for lack of trying, I'm sure.)

Now I need to take some Tylenol and go to bed.