Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Five

1.  A.

2.  and

3.  I

4.  are

5.  ENGAGED!!!

Yep!

I did not see the proposal coming at all. A. took me up to his favorite mountain range, to his favorite valley, and gave me a handmade fly box. Inside it said, "Marry me."

I DIED.

Even coming up on our ninth year together, I am pretty damn excited about this development.

Yay!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Five, 03.01.2013

1. Dogs never fail to amaze me. DOGS. Their capacity for joy, and gratefulness and unconditional love just makes my heart swell. (And if this is nothing more than anthropomorphic daydreams, I don't care. I am rolling with it. Though, I do believe these sweet beings are capable of all that and more.)

2. I am so thankful for the sweet pups at home, especially this week. Their ridiculous enthusiasm for damn near everything is so refreshing.

It has been a miserable week. I don't remember why Monday sucked, but it did. Tuesday was a real whopper of a Tuesday. (Fucking Tuesdays. Why are they so soul-sucking?) In the morning, I forgot to put on makeup (???), my watch, my rings, and left my phone on my nightstand.

It stormed all day, and the roads around town and the highways were covered in slippery powdery snow with black ice underneath.  I got rear-ended at a stop sign, and I could't pull any info out of the guy that hit me. Thankfully, I wasn't hurt, nor was the other driver. I decided not to call the cops because my car didn't look any worse for wear but for a couple of scratches. His car, however, has some crunched up bits on his hood and headlight. I am pretty sure he didn't have insurance.

I regretted that decision and wished I'd pushed him enough to at least get his name. His license plate was covered by snow, and I didn't get the number.

I pretty much felt like an idiot all night long. And I had a headache. Then I remembered I did not have a phone to call the cops with, regardless. Oh, well! Live and learn, I suppose.

Then, last night, I finally did it. I locked both my office and car keys in my office, after hours, with no one around to let me in. At least I had my phone!

I left a message for A. to come get me and I was about to leave the building to go for a walk. (Why not? Plus, it wasn't very windy and one must snap up those opportunities if one wishes to remain sane going into March.) I noticed two oddly bulky figures at the end of the long hallway, dressed in all black. Could it be? It was! Campus Police! They were able to let me in my office provided I showed them some ID. Whew!

3. I would so love to visit hospitals and nursing homes with Winston, and Belle, if she'd like it. I think Winston would love it. As far as we can tell, he hasn't met a person he doesn't want to love on. Plus, I would  feel so damn fulfilled seeing some joy come to these folks' day. That kind of shit just makes me weepy-happy.

I have no faith, whatsoever, in my ability to train Winston for such endeavors. Don't get me wrong; he is a great dog and learns quickly. For the most part his behavior is totally acceptable.

However, I can't even stick to it to consistently train him to stay. I have been pretty lax about remembering to say "ouch" and ignore him when he mouths me with his teeth, and lately he has been jumping on me when I am heading over to fill up his dog bowl for dinner. I don't find this acceptable. So. I need to get consistent. He is so damn smart that he picks up on what he is supposed to do and what is naughty right away. When I do say ouch, the next time I am petting me he makes it a point to give my hand lots of teeth-free kisses. So really, any annoying habits fall squarely on me.

I need to get my ass in gear. I need to follow through on something, for fuck's sake. (There's a frustration for another post or five million. Anyway.)

4. Winston is so active! It is impossible to get any good pictures of him because he just cannot sit still that long. And when he wears himself out he is just - OUT. Immediately and completely. Sound ass asleep and you can even MOVE HIS LIMBS AROUND and he doesn't awaken. He will play so hard and then is comatose. It is fucking adorable.

Play?

He keeps us from being as lazy as well, I am inclined to be, and I love it. I would like to give him more walks, but I am a wuss when it comes to facing 30 mph wind and 10-degree weather. I accept and embrace that as a fault without any guilt. But still, I love going for walks, as do the pups.

I need to teach him some tricks to wear him out when we are housebound. Have you ever taught a dog any tricks? Which ones? I feel kind of hokey about it as I have never been a parent to a dog that had any interest in tricks, toys, etc. But he is whip smart and learning stuff keeps him entertained and occupied. And it so fun to watch the little wheels turning in Mr. Fuzzypants' mind as he learns something new.

He is pretty damn cute.

Belle tolerates him, and they play together occasionally. He is just too much of a firecracker for her right now. I do hope she grows to care for him. That weighs very heavily on my heart. I give her extra snuggles and secret Belle-only car rides to bring her some happiness. My sweet Belle.

5. I left my first-ever passive aggressive note on a driver's windshield today! This dick completely straddled two parking spots. And the parking lines were clearly visible and not hidden by ice and snow. I started the note out quite straightforwardly in an effort not to be a passive-aggressive asshole myself. I asked that if they were unaware they had parked like a dipshit unobservant person, to please pay more attention in the future. Then I went off about how if yes, they DID know they parked like a jerk, they should be ashamed of their selfish and discourteous act and thanks for pissing me right the hell off.

Heh.

I am glad this week is nearly over. Happy Friday to you!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Five 01.28.13

1. Winston is settling in well and we are welcoming the changes to our lives that accompany him. But boy, he is definitely a puppy and definitely an Aussie puppy. It takes quite a bit to tire him out and if we don’t manage it, we pay for it with a crazy puppy. For the most part, that is a fine thing. A. and I are off our butts much less as a result.

And truly, he is a very good dog. He is energetic and wants to play all! the! time! He isn’t mischievous and has picked up on the house rules very quickly. He does sneak in some towel chewing and unravelling every now and then, however. I was afraid he’d sneak off to chew on A.’s collection of elk and deer antlers, but he has sniffed them, liked them once, and moved on. I suppose I am relieved as A. really does like the antlers. But if I am being honest, I certainly would not have minded if Winston had decreased the size of the collection. (They are so pointy. And without bodies. They are weird.)

2. When A. and I are gone all day it is a bit too long for Winston to entertain himself. I got home to find him digging and mighty fine hole to China, and his white hair was COVERED in mud. Belle just smiled and wagged her tail in this lovely, graceful rhythm she has when she is pleased. I am thinking she may have started the hole, and then let him get in trouble. Fantastic!

He was so damn happy I was home that he ran around the house like a lunatic, flinging mud everywhere. Belle just casually strolled in, smiling all the while.

I am thinking of tethering a tennis ball (somehow??) to the fence. I will put PVC pipe around the rope so that Winston can’t get himself wrapped up and choke himself. He is such a spazz that is a definite possibility. That should be a fun toy to keep him entertained, right? He will also have a kong outside, and maybe another ball. Maybe I will “hide” the kong with treats and he can sniff it down. Any ideas on how to help a puppy entertain himself would be appreciated.

3. Belle is starting to warm up to Winston. Sometimes I catch them curled up on the sofa together at the end of the day. Winston follows her around with the sweetest puppy dog eyes. He LOVES her. They are playing together more, and she has even been caught giving him kisses.

I think she might play with him more if we get her feeling better. She is starting to show signs of arthritis in her front legs and elbows. I hate to even admit that. I feel like I am failing her or something by just saying that. She has always been such an active and healthy girl that it is hard to see her slow down.

But, by letting myself admit she is getting older (13!) I can see to it that she feels her best. We are starting her on the usual glucosamine and chondroitine and some other pain pill. The pain pill can’t be an anti-inflammatory, however, because her liver enzymes are a bit high. So, we are starting her on some livers meds, too.

Hopefully the combo will loosen her up and make her feel better.

4.  A. got a job! It is here in town, so we are not moving anytime soon. I have mixed feelings about the job and that we are staying put for a while. The people at the company he is joining are known for loving their jobs and staying on for years. Hopefully this means it will be an atmosphere A. will enjoy. But it is not in his field. It won’t necessarily help him build skills or meet people that could eventually lead him to his field, either. I really want him to work in his field and know what it is like to enjoy going to work, you know? Plus, the work he wants to do is important and he would be so good at it.

I would still like to move. I like living here and am getting more involved with matters of the community. I volunteer on the Design Committee for our local Main Street program (LOVE. IT. I so wish I could do this for a living!). I am happy to be here long enough to see some of our projects completed.

I love the little diner downtown where A. and I have Friday dinner. We are becoming regulars, and it tickles me pink.

But I want the adventure of a new place! We have been considering Boise, ID. Though most of Idaho scares the shit out of me, Boise seems pretty great. And it has FANTASTIC fly fishing in any direction.

A. is relieved to contribute to the household income and I can’t fault him for feeling uneasy the last couple of months. (We were doing just fine, but he was still anxious.) I really liked being the sole breadwinner. I loved that A. did not have to go to a job where he was miserable for 8-9 hours a day. Man, the weight that used to be on my heart was heavier than I had realized.

I became more sympathetic toward the stereotypical 1950s husband. A. conquered a whole list of maintenance items, did most of the laundry, kept the house up and had dinner ready when I arrived home at least three nights a week. It was awesome coming home and having nothing to do but relax. It would be easy to get used to that kind of treatment. It would also be easy to take that for granted.

5. So, yeah. Things are changing. As they always do.

Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Your Name is Winston

Winston never sits still long enough for a clear picture.
Meet Winston.

Our new nine-month-old puppy.

A puppy. An Aussie puppy. Sweet geezus.

Oakley, (Winston) found his way to us after two different homes and the pound. He is only nine months old and already so many homes! He is super sweet and affectionate and trusting. I can’t believe the spirit of this little guy.

His first owner (and I mean owner, not parent) was a student at a local automotive tech school. These students are in town for 8 months and then they split, as soon as their for-profit, extortionist schooling is finished. So, already this did not bode too well for Mr. Fluffypants. He was left alone in the house constantly and received very little training. He wasn’t even housebroken completely. The story goes that Oakley managed to turn on a faucet while home alone.

He landed in the pound.

This is not a no-kill shelter. This is not a good situation in which to find yourself.

A former co-worker of A.’s, Doctor,  adopted Oakley. He and his wife are great puppy parents. They cared for him and got all the necessary shots, exams, and had him fixed. They took him to an obedience class, and loved on him. But Oakley is a busy, busy little dude. Doctor and Wife are rather quiet, very tame, sorts of people. Active, but gentle. And their little King Charles Spaniel is very timid and didn’t take to Oakley’s rambunctiousness at all.

Doctor called A. to see if we would be interested in adopting Oakley. Doctor worked with A. throughout Buster’s illness and passing. He knows how much A. loves animals. He also knew we were starting to look to add to our family.

Belle and Oakley met and seemed to get along fine. They were both tickled during our introductory walk together. We decided to go for it!

Belle is warming up nicely to him. She’s made sure he knows she is the boss around here (she’s already taught us) and is even starting to run around and play with him. YAY!

After a couple of days with us, A. and I decided that the name Oakley really didn’t feel right. While we didn’t want to give this little guy a third name, we just couldn’t live with Oakley. A.’s first suggestion was Winston, and boy if that didn’t sound just right.

Your name is Winston.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Five

1. This morning has been very eventful and sad.

I walked out to my car this morning and smelled a skunk. Residual skunk smell in the early morning is not too unusual, but I still glanced around. I mean, you just do not ignore the smell of a skunk, you know?

Not 20 yards from my car there was a large (and who are we kidding - ADORABLE) fur ball of black and white.

Fantastic.

I carefully walked back to the house to warn A. not to let Belle out front. (She loves skunks.) He asked if the skunk was moving but I only noticed it lift its head. A skunk out in daylight that can hardly move. This isn't good news for anybody-- human, canine, or otherwise.

I looked ridiculous as I tiptoed to my car to make sure the little guy wasn't playing possum (ha!) and ambush me with its sure-to-be-rabid teeth. (Gaaaaah.) Nope. Still could hardly move. As I drove around our circular drive it tried to lift its tail at me, at which time I hauled ass in my little Civic. The skunk's tail was awkward and almost sideways. Something was clearly not right with this animal.

I called A. and he said he'd seen the skunk's behavior. As I continued to drive down the dirt road to the highway I saw a neighbors' two dogs running around. I hoped they wouldn't blaze over to our house.

2. My dear, sweet, sensitive A. had to start his day off by killing an animal in pain or the final throes of rabies. He loaded his shotgun, ended its life and came in the house, only to find Belle missing.

He looked everywhere. He thought maybe she got outside. Maybe he hallucinated and actually shot her, instead of the skunk. He was getting anxious, to say the least.

He finally found her, hiding under a bed at the farthest corner of the house. He is afraid she saw him kill and bury the animal and is now scared of him. Oh, my god. Our Belle, who isn't scared of a damn thing, is hiding. Maybe hiding from A. Oh, hell.

3. My heart is breaking for my little family, and for the poor skunk. What a shitty way to start the day.

4. I figured out that my favorite homemade drink, a Whiskey Sour, is 11 goddamn points in Weight Watchers. That is nearly half of my daily allowance.

Does anyone know how to make a simple syrup with fake sugar? I try to avoid the fake bullshit foods, but maybe I can make simple syrup that is half sugar and half cancer-causing fakeness. Maybe agave would work and be less points?

Suggestions, folks?

On the other side of this expensive drink issue - a fitness questions! What the hell can I do to burn off enough calories to fit in a couple of these a week?! Sprint lunges while carrying a 100-lb bar across my shoulders? What the hell. Aging sucks.

5. I've lost 20 pounds! I did not know I had 20 pounds to lose, not really. The weight crept up  over eight years or so and I still had the mental image of myself as a 25-year-old. I was always shocked by pictures of myself.  Apparently, I can be selective about reality, too, just like Fox News!

I look like myself again, and I feel great. My belly doesn't hurt and doesn't get in the way. My jawline is back! I am pleased. I have 5 more pounds to my "goal weight" but really, I am happy right now.

Happy Friday to you!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Deliberate

A.'s last day of work was just over a week ago. He's gone hunting twice, and we have some elk in the freezer. He is so much more relaxed and I don't feel like crying every Sunday evening, knowing he is about to start another miserable week at a job he loathes.

Things are good.

A. has set up a schedule for himself, similar to what is recommended for freelancers who work from home. Instead of work, though, he is job hunting, tweaking resumes, and writing cover letters. I am glad that he is only dedicating a few hours a day to this, because otherwise I think he'll get depressed and frustrated. I think having a schedule and treating it like a job will help him focus and keep things in perspective. I hope.

A. has been spending his afternoons working on household projects, decluttering, (WAHOO!!), chopping firewood and cooking me dinner. 

He has dinner ready for me when I get home from work. To a clean house. I could totally get used to this lifestyle. (He is so sweet - he tries to make dinners that won't cost me a gazillion Points. He is so awesome, you guys.)

So far the budget seems to be working out. I discontinued my (rather generous, if I do say) monthly donation to our local NPR station and gave up my locker rental at the gym. I am still making a donation to our state-wide food bank. That will be the last of any charity gifts to go. I've considered giving up my work parking pass, but finding parking nearby anytime after 7:15 a.m. is nearly impossible. Eh. We will eat out much less, maybe once or twice a month as a treat. That is ok. Why not have things in life that feel like treats, rather than entitlements?

If I find enough workout DVDs that I like, I may cancel my gym membership as well. It isn't very expensive, but it would be a few more dollars in the budget cushion.

Do you have any fitness DVDs that you like? I am waiting for a copy of "The Bar Method" to arrive. It is based on the foundations of ballet, and supposedly can tone you up like a mofo. But slender-like and not Hulk-like. I also have the "30 Day Shred" and it kicks my ass. I am nowhere near in shape enough to even attempt something like "Insanity." One of my sisters has already burned her way through that program. She is looking for something else to do - that is harder. She is my hero.

I have a few yoga DVDs that I like quite a bit, and feel covered on that front. Once/if we get some snowpack I hope to do plenty of cross country skiing, too. We can get to free trails withing a 15-minute drive from our house, so it is a pretty inexpensive and awesome workout in the winter.

Do you have any workout or money-saving tips? We do a lot of things already. We don't have a fancypants coffee daily, we cook at home, etc. I've been unplugging everything at night. EVERYTHING. It is awesome - you'd be amazed at the background noise everything makes with plugged in.

I kind of like this - it feels like a competition to see how inexpensively we can live and still be happy. Tips, please!