Posts Tagged With: packing

New Beginnings

So I’m not sure where to begin. It’s been a while since I kept a hand-written journal, but until I get a laptop, this is how I’ll be rolling. I’ll just have to upload entries as I get access to a computer.

I still feel kind of torn on what I’m doing. I have the opportunity to go work up at the lake with Em this summer but I feel like it would be better for me to stick around Salt Lake and find a higher-paying job. This is our first day chilling at the park and I’m really seeing how much work Rowan needs. She has developed some very bad habits while I was living at the house from being in the backyard without me. The two dogs in the alley behind us had fence aggression, so she has learned that attacking the fence is an acceptable way to say hello to strange dogs. I have also found that she is now trying to nip strangers through the fence as well. Morons who see her acting a fool who think if they just try to pet her through the fence, she’ll like them. Yeah… no. So she got reprimanded for that yesterday.

Anywho, so I think that the constant exposure to strangers, cyclists, runners, skaters, and strange dogs could definitely be good for her in the long run. I also have more opportunities for getting the RV worked on here in the city, and I think it’s good for me to learn how to do things with as little help as possible, to prepare myself for being in another state. Not to mention,  it’s just easier to exercise here. But mannn, does it sound inviting to go live in the forest for the summer! I would get paid more to work there than at my current job, but not as much as if I switched jobs here in the city.

Man, my carpal tunnel is acting up something fierce with this writing by hand stuff. I spent several days this week finishing around 60 tie-dyes, and kneading them on the rinse-out process just about killed my wrists. Add to that all the moving and hauling stuff, and my poor hands have had it.

So of course, the first few days I had in the RV, my phone was mostly dead so I don’t have many/any good pix, but I’ll try to find some so these entries aren’t just babbling. My phone is on the charger right now, so no cute pix of the dogs in the park.

I am quite delighted that my RV fits perfectly into the parking spots here. I don’t have as much tail-swing as I thought I would,  but it is quite wide,  so it won’t be all that different from driving the FedEx van.

The little things are the ones that I’m learning on the fly. With the phone being dead, I couldn’t set an alarm this morning, so I just woke up when I woke up. That will have to change. The holder to put the spare tire on the back bumper was going to be put to use today, but then I realized the lug nuts were missing, so now I have the spare on my already-crowded floor. Since I was running late, I didn’t get breakfast on time, so I had my breakfast for lunch and skipped lunch. I had to figure out this morning where to spit my toothpaste other than on the ground in the driveway where I’m parking at night, since I don’t want to use my grey water tanks right now. I didn’t have the window cover up,  so I had to fugue out how to change my clothes without flashing the neighbors… *lol* Yeah, lots of learning curves!

I know I haven’t written during the whole moving process, so let me just say this – holy shit! If you don’t think you have much, the way to prove that theory wrong is to move! I completely filled my 15’x5′ storage shed. Now I’ve got to think about what I own, and what I want to keep of it all. Another entry for that one will be upcoming, for sure. In the meantime, I have too much stuff in the RV, and can’t wait to get a computer so that I can manage my Etsy page easily, to get rid of all my tie-dye backstock. I also plan to be working on a lot of yarn projects, as I have 1 1/2 totes full of yarn in here. 2 1/2 if you count the tote of half-completed projects! Eek! I also have way too many t-shirts. A lifetime of t-shirt love has given me 1 1/2 totes of t-shirts… and that’s not including the tote of “skinny clothes” I have in my storage shed that is mostly tees I can’t even fit into! *lol* Oh well… those things will be downsized in time as I use them up and wear them out.

I am so scatter-brained this week. Too much going on, too much to figure out. But I got my security deposit back on the house, and I have current tags and insurance on the RV. I have food, the dogs have food and meds… We all have our vitamins. Hopefully Flash will hold up until I can get her worked on. And hopefully the universe will continue to smile upon us, because I could really use the good luck and positive vibes right now. The past few days, I’ve woken up and laid there, thinking – I don’t have to pay for rent anymore! Of course, my “rent” for the first little while will be getting Flash fixed and spiffed up, so that she’s happy.

It’s inspiring to see so many people running and walking their dogs here in the middle of the day. We’re starting out slow so we don’t hurt Ked’s hip, and then in a week, I’ll be adding my running routine (a C25K) to the mix, and letting Ked relax while Rowan runs with me. It will be good for her to have something else to concentrate on (heeling/running) when we’re out exercising, so she can start relaxing about the random passing dogs.

Anywho. That’s enough babbling for now. I’m sure there will be plenty more later, but hopefully as I settle into a new routine, I’ll become more organized with these posts! 🙂 Hope everyone is well, and living their dream! 🙂

Note: I realized there was a WordPress app, so I’m giving that a try. Please excuse all the crazy sentences wherein my autocorrect just made crazy shit up. 🙂 I also need to figure out how to embed videos with the app, and check out how big these pictures are on an actual computer. Sorry, you’re part of my learning curve! 🙂

Pretty eyes…

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My view…

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Tired kids…

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Vince Vaccaro – Here Is Now

Categories: dogs, lifestyle change, RV life, weight loss | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who We Are

This week, my vet was back in the country, so we scheduled Ked for his ultrasounds. They came back clear of cancer, or any other kinds of bladder/kidney/liver/stomach disease, so that was awesome. The only un-awesome part is that we still don’t know exactly what his issue is, so we’ll be going back for more tests in the future. They thought it was possible that he had an infection in the bladder lining (since his is a bit thicker than normal), which is hard to diagnose, and doesn’t show up on tests very well, and although she thinks the Amoxicillin he was on SHOULD HAVE gotten rid of something like that, we’re doing 10 days of a broader spectrum antibiotic, just to make sure. The next thing on the list to see if we can rule out will be Cushing’s. If it is Cushing’s, he only has one symptom, so that’s atypical… We’ll just keep going down the list to see if we can figure it out, but in the meantime, as long as he’s acting normal and happy, I’m not going to stress.

Rowan has finally come in heat, at 10 months old. I was really hoping she would come in at 6 months, so she’d have two heat cycles under her belt by around a year old, when I want to spay her, but now it’s looking like I won’t be able to expect her back in season until she’s about 15 months, at the earliest. At 15 months, we’ll be at the sheepdog trial, so I don’t want to have her in season there. At 16 months, I will probably be heading out of Utah… So I’m thinking I’ll compromise and go between a year old, when I originally wanted to spay her, and 15 months, when we’ll be at the trial. I’m thinking probably the 14 month mark – July. It was really a lot easier to decide on when to fix a dog back before we had all the information we do now. Spay before this age, and risk all these side-effects, spay after this age and risk all these other side-effects… Ugh. I feel like 14 months is a good compromise between cancer, endocrine, hormonal, and bone plate issues. I don’t want the inconvenience of having an intact dog to factor into when I decide to spay her. When I spay her will have life-long repercussions, so I want to do what is right.

This week I got the RV transferred into my name (finally) and got temp tags so I can go get it fixed and inspected. I also picked up new-to-me kitchenware so I could pack all my own kitchen stuff and still have stuff in the kitchen to use. My roommate talked to the landlord and confirmed that he would be staying here in the house when I move out, and the new prospective roomie filled out paperwork and turned it in to her to get approved. She told me I was welcome to stay, because I’ve been a great tenant, and said we could work out rent to have 3 people living here. *lol* Very kind of her, but that won’t save me the money I need to save up, so… nope. The roomie and I have been touching base to figure out when the best time for both of us would be for him to vacate for a couple days so I can shampoo all the carpets (including his bedroom). In the meantime, I’ve been working on packing the remainder of my stuff.

It’s a cold, wet day here in the Salty City today. Mother Nature’s indecision over the status of spring means mostly rain, a bit of sleet, and occasional snow falling. Yesterday it was warm and sunshiney, with bright, poofy My Little Pony clouds.  Days like today call for good music and a big mug of hot cocoa while I pack, so I’m working on the closet (when I’m not sitting here typing).

Yesterday I was shoe shopping with Em, and thinking about how picky I am (not hideous, no leather, must fit my fat feet, no known sweat shops), and looking at everyone else who was out shopping, and thinking about how they picked out their clothing, and I was scratching my head at some of their choices. So today, while packing the remainder of my clothes, I was looking at my choices, and smiling about what they said about me. I choose things based on what is the most practical and comfortable. All my pants have extra pockets. They are all denim or khaki-type material. I have short socks, long socks, thin socks, and thick socks. Almost every single shirt in my my closet is a printed t-shirt. Almost all of them are animal causes or band shirts. There is some environmentalism and comedy thrown in for good measure.

(Exhibit A, my favorite Tori Amos shirt, and one for Squatters, a local brewery that donates money to No More Homeless Pets based on the sales of its dog-inspired beer, Chasing Tail):

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I pulled out my most favorite shirts out of the bunch, to see what they say about me. They are the shirts that I don’t want to wear because I want to keep them forever and I’m scared of them getting stained, torn, or just plain worn out.

Here’s the first one. Let me just say that I had an inner battle over buying a shirt made by Hurley. I refuse to pay $50 for a damn piece of cotton, no matter how much I love it. So the day these went on sale for cheap(er), I jumped on them. I wish I would have bought two. I lovelovelove this shirt. The painting is by Brandon Boyd, one of my favorite singers of all time, and I just love the design. If you look closely, you will see that the whale has a teardrop. The shirt is organic cotton and buttery soft. Yes, I’m a hippie. But I don’t care, this shirt is amazing!

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The second shirt is made by Life is Good, and features Jake and Rocket going for a hike. It’s simple, it’s cute, it has the dog hiking with his human, and has a message I try to live by when I’m out in nature. The shirt is also buttery soft organic cotton and I love it. They no longer make it, and do not bring back designs they’ve retired. When I saw this shirt at REI, I jumped on it. Matt rolled his eyes at me, but again… I wish I would have bought two! The day I brought Rowan home, she put a hole in this shirt with her claw, and I know that it’s only a matter of time before it completely unravels now. 😦

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The last shirt I got from Tori. We were packing her stuff for a move, and I saw it and was like MUSTHAVE! She never wore it anymore, so she gave it to me. The shirt was rare when she got it… She saw someone wearing it and had to have it, so her dad searched high and low to find it for her. It is made by Patagonia, and the front says “Support Sustainable Forestry”. I love the “hidden message” in red. Trees are near and dear to my heart.

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I think my wardrobe is a fair representation of who I am, and what means the most to me. Saving the animals, saving the world, music, farming, doing what you love, and hilarity. 🙂 Oh, and… ya know, since I’m a crafty hippie… lots of tie-dyed stuff. 🙂

Categories: dogs, lifestyle change | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Packing & Puppy Politics

My last two days have been spent taking care of my friend’s sick dog, rather than working on the RV like I’d planned, so there’s not much to update on today. I slacked this week and did shitty on my exercise schedule. Rather than playing online tonight, I’m spending the night going through some of my remaining stuff and sorting it… Keeper stuff for the storage shed, stuff that needs to go to donation, and stuff for the motorhome. There really isn’t much left to sort through, but those little things seem so tedious and time-consuming. Of course the biggest stuff was the easiest, so that happened first. The (huge) storage shed was crammed as full as you could get it, and I worked through that bit by bit, and now I am sharing one of the smallest sheds you can get with a friend, and there’s still room to spare inside. I just feel scatterbrained and apathetic a lot of the time. I would rather spend hours looking at land for sale online, or browsing through places to rent on the coast, than sort paperwork that I need to file. Really though, it’s the little things that will matter in the end. Crafts correctly sorted into totes, all my stuff in order… When I’m living full-time in the RV, things being in their proper places will make a world of difference. I got the second-smallest model I could find, so it’s not like there’s room to be a slob or have any clutter.

I’ve started thinking about where I want to keep things in the RV. Originally I figured I’d use the big bed above the cab to store all my stuff, but I’m thinking that’s going to be too much weight, and it’s also going to make me top-heavy, which is the last thing I want, so I’m re-evaluating that…

Been thinking about getting another dog soon. Kedric seems lonely, and it seems weird to just have two of us, so I’ve been digging through the internet, trying to weigh my options. I don’t want to wait a year, because I don’t want a new puppy driving him insane in his old age. He turns 12 in December. So I figure now, while he’s still full of life, and not a grumpy old man or weak and wobbly would be best. Especially because he just needs a friend. The complicated thing is where to GET a dog. I’ve done rescue before, and helped with other rescue organizations before, so I recognize the incredible need there is for people to adopt. But then I have to guiltily admit that I want a purebred. So I’ve been looking at both Petfinder and actual breed rescues, just searching for the right dog to pop up… And it’s not appearing. So I’ve also been searching through breeders. For those of you unfamiliar with Border Collie politics… Holy shit. (Prepare yourself!)

The Border Collie was originally bred for herding. Owners did not care how the dogs looked, as long as they could get the job done. So Border Collies come in every package imaginable. Everyone pictures a black and white, semi-long-haired dog with tipped ears when you say “Border Collie”, but that is not always the case. Border Collies come with floppy ears, tipped ears, prick ears, short hair, long hair, medium hair, and curly hair. They can be anywhere from 25 to 60 lbs or so, and come in a full rainbow of colors and body types. Some look more like whippets, some look more like German Shepherds… Nobody cares. The dogs, after so long of being bred for brains instead of looks, were the smartest dogs on the planet and could do just about anything – from service dog work to narcotics detection. Border Collies are used in Search & Rescue, agility, lure coursing, and sledding. They have even been used in protection work and as therapy dogs. There is little in the world a BC can’t do. So the AKC wanted this dog in their kennel club. The herding people fought hard to keep the dogs out of the club, because the only thing the AKC really breeds for is looks, not abilities. They couldn’t care less what the dog’s instincts were, as long as it conformed to a written standard on what a BC should look like. And what should a BC look like? It should look smooth on the outrun, calm on the lift, and steady on the fetch. It should look capable at the shed, and patient at the pen. But as to its color and conformation, there has never been a standard. So the AKC added the BC to its roster, even though most BC breeders opposed this, and now there is a war at hand. There are people who breed AKC-style BC’s, which are gorgeous, fluffy, and tend to be, for the most part, either completely uninterested in anything other than taking up space on the couch, or completely hyperactive and somewhat nuts, loving the sound of their own voices. I’m sure I’ll get comments about how that is not how all of them are, but I’ve met a fair share of them, and most fall into one of the two categories. The problem with the AKC dogs is NOT that they’re pretty. It’s that the breeders tend to breed only the best looking dogs with no regard to instincts, so most AKC dogs just don’t have the abilities bred in anymore to perform hard farm work or trial courses. Of course, the secondary problem is that in breeding for large, square bodies with incredibly lush coats, you end up by default with a dog who generally couldn’t do the trial work even if it DID have the instincts, because the coat gets caught in everything (and overheats the dog), and they don’t have the shape and fluidity of a working dog. They can’t really flex at a gallop, and they can’t really do the slinking walk up either. On the other end of the spectrum, ABCA breeders are breeding dogs with brains to dogs with brains. Some of them are lurpy, some of them are just so homely it’s hard to look at them without wincing. But no matter how funny-looking the dog, when it is in motion on the hillside, it is a work of art. It is pure beauty, and few can argue with that. The talent and instinct of a well-bred herding dog at work is an amazing thing to behold.

So where does that leave me? In the middle, of course. I never fall into the black or white, I ALWAYS end up wandering around the grey spectrum. When I was little, my mother raised Shelties, so I’ve always loved the tipped ears and sweet expressions (and pretty sable coats). What I am looking for is a dog that was bred with good intentions (to WORK), but comes in a pretty package. Not a big, boxy, flowing-haired dog, but pretty. For this, I feel like a terrible BC person. I do not agree in the slightest with what the AKC has done to the BC, but at the same time – I don’t want to own a homely dog. My thing is – I don’t own sheep right now, so I don’t NEED a dog that can work. But I don’t want to support a breeder who doesn’t have the breed’s best interests in mind either. I have found many breeders who have some really pretty dogs, but *only* in black and white. I’m not sure why this prejudice exists in the BC world, but over the decades, breeders favored the black dogs, so even if a chocolate/red, blue, or sable pup popped out along the way and was showing interest in stock, the breeders would choose the blacks over the colored pups. This means that the gene pool of dogs with REALLY good herding instincts tends to be predominantly black (or tri, which is mostly black). What I am looking for in a breeder is someone who raises ABCA dogs (not AKC), is breeding dogs that have the desire and talent to herd, has colors other than black or tri, has dogs I like the look of (medium build, rough coat, tipped ears), and is hip/eye testing their breeding stock. You would think that I’m looking for a unicorn breeder. And not just ANY unicorns, but ones who can only live off sugar cookies, and who crap rainbow sparkles. It’s just… not to be found. Anywhere. There are breeders who breed color, but the dogs don’t really work (even if they have instinct). There are breeders who have herding, colored dogs, but they don’t hip or eye test. There are breeders who have herding, hip and eye tested dogs, but no colors… UGH! I have literally gotten to the point where I’ve decided that in the future, I will be breeding Border Collies. I CANNOT be the only person out there looking for this combination, so any pup I don’t want to keep for myself, I’m sure someone will want to buy. It is seriously driving me to insanity. I have looked at probably every breeder in the US at this point who has a webpage (any webpage, no matter how terrible). I’ve seen some really nice herding, colored dogs in the UK, so I’m not sure what’s going on over here. Of course, if you ask opinions anywhere online, you will get yelled at from both sides of the spectrum. You want a brain-dead colored dog?! You want an ugly herding dog?! All I have to say to that is… Border Collies were never bred for looks, so they come in every look imaginable now. I’m going to pick the dogs I like the looks of best who are registered with the ABCA, since that’s the best compromise I can come to at this point. It just really sucks that if I decide to go with a registered dog, I will not be satisfied on all the items that I’m looking for, since nobody appears to be breeding them. There’s a reason I keep going back to look at Petfinder and breed rescues, and that’s because it hurts my brain less. Also, the Pit Bull cause is near and dear to my heart (so many amazing dogs being put down because of a bad rap), so every time I get done searching through BC’s, I look through the Pittie database as well. I’ll be the weirdo with 15 Border Collies and a Pit Bull in the future, for sure.

Anyway, it’s Monday, so here’s my weekly breakdown. It sucks, but at least I didn’t gain anything (surprise).

Starting weight: 272
Lost this week: .2
Total lost: 15.4
Currently: 256.6

Starting BMI: 43.9
Lost this week: 0
Total lost: 2.5
Currently: 41.4

Categories: dogs, dreams, goals, weight loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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