Sunday, January 31, 2010

Swim class

I am tired, and should sleep well tonight. I learned a lot about myself in my beginners swim class. First, I am dominant on the Left...on the top half of my body. I am Right side dominant on the lower half. So in doing the freestyle swim stroke I am a total klutz trying to breathe on the right side...something I will be working on. Because of the increased strength on the right leg, and the fact that I have no left, it has been determined that I will not use my legs when swimming. Sounds great to me, as it will save them for the bicycle part of the triathlon. It will also save me from constantly having to correct as I veer to the left when I kick. I have spent so much time in the water and have compensated so much for the lack of limb that my freestyle stroke is non existent. I am delighted to have been able to take a class that started at the very beginning. Meeting the other Tri-Babe "beees and wannabees" was also a delight. I am really going to love this venture. Support is the name of the game with these folks. I can't wait until "real" training begins and I can meet the others. There is so very much to learn, and most of it is how to handle my own body mechanics.

For now I am excited for a restful sleep tonight. Whenever I learn something new that involves body dynamics I find that sleeping on the lessons really drives the points home. I will be going to the pool tomorrow to firmly plant it all in my brain. My life just gets better and better as I invite more people and more activities into it. Increased good health is but the icing on the cake.

Thanks to my kids, all three of them, for the drive and the inspiration to not only just hang in, but to do it with the joy that comes from pushing my limits. Soon there will be no limits...thanks, babies.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Things I put on my sister"

I will start this with a self portrait that this little photographer did. Her description: "I held my breath and crossed my eyes."

And our picture story begins.
Yes, indeedy. The indignity of being a baby sister. The joy of being a big sister. Part one begins right now. (My daughter will be sending me pictures as she gets them; right, dear?)
It all started off innocently enough. Little Plum, without the B, as a princess.

Then it started to get crazier

This is my favorite

Someday, Miss Mimi, little Plum B Minus will get you back...


Off to the big city

First a little plum bee
I have a lunch date with a friend. Sometimes it is important to drive away from my little piece of paradise and head right into the storm that I call Seattle. I grew up in the area and drove into the big city often; during my illness phase it was at often several times a week for hyperbaric treatment or trips to the trauma center. For a time I commuted through the city for work. Now, however, having lived here for eight years and having recovered physically, I find it very hard to drive there. Horns honk, fingers flail, cars cut in and out. I feel old. No longer am I comfortable zipping around on the motorcycle over there. I feel old. Often times I drive with my little blue "handicapped" placard hanging on the mirror. Does it give me a bit of extra space? That is my hope.

The other day I was driving out to check out a boarding facility. To get there I drove through a small reservation area. I noticed a police car parked in the normal radar spot and continued on. Soon I saw him following me. No big deal, I know I was doing nothing wrong. After about a mile or two the lights came on. Again, no big deal, right? "Do you know you have a tail light out?" sigh. I asked if it was the right side and he said it was. I told him I had thought I had fixed it, but apparently not. another sigh. "May I see your license and registration?" Of course. Proof of insurance? Not quite so easy. I have an expired card in there...the new one must be in the pile of mail on the table. ARGHH! So I begin a somewhat frantic search for it in all the nooks and crannies of my purse and the truck. However, I had failed to mention one teeny tiny thing. I have a CCP and likely he saw that as I was searching through all my cards. (I was not carrying that day, by the way.) He left to go to his car and call in the license and registration, or so I thought, as I continued my quest for my insurance card, which by then I was pretty sure was in an envelope on the dining room table. It wasn't until he came back and told me to be sure to get it into the car and wished me a good day, and I him, that I realized that there were now two more cars behind me. With all the mess that has gone on with police in the past four months I can hardly blame the guy for calling in help. So my lesson has been learned and I will mention the permit right away. I know if I am carrying that I need to tell them immediately and reveal the weapon, but didn't think about the permit possibly causing a bit of a stir. Then again, it comes back to the fact that since all was on the legal up and up, does that not put me in a safer category? Or could I become the psycho elderly lady that becomes violent when pulled over? At any rate I do feel bad for possibly unnerving the poor officer. So, I stopped at the auto parts store and replaced another bulb and I went home and found my insurance card.

Now I need to decide what to "wear" to the big city. The trip is further complicated by the fact that I am stopping to check out a bike on CraigsList. I will give the youngest a call and see if he is available...I would prefer to be armed with my tall handsome son today, I think.

So off I go. It's 9am, and I have been up for four hours. Is it lunch time yet?


Monday, January 25, 2010

25 years

That is how long it has been.

This is a no-brainer for you, but absolutely gigantic for me.

Last week I was shopping. As I was crossing the parking lot, traffic was approaching. Without a second thought (then) I jogged across the traffic lane. Just a quick little jog. Maybe twenty steps. About ten seconds later I realized what I had done. It has been twenty five years since I was able to do that. And I had not even thought; I just reacted and did it! I entered that store with the biggest grin on my face.

My normal is becoming so much more normal. Then again, when is the last time you shed tears after breaking into a short jog? I am such a sap...


Sunday, January 24, 2010

It couldn't have happened to nicer people

The Portland dog show. Saturday. Bred By Exhibitor class...yep that favored class of mine (to watch). Two beautiful young cardigan girls take the first and second slot. Samhain bred and exhibited. Sired by the double blue "Casper." Callie continues on for the five point major by taking WB.

Congrats, Mark and Kim...and yes, that order was on purpose as I hear that Mark "let" Kim take his girl in while he struggled with her's. (It must've been a wee little struggle if she came in right behind her sister!) Wonderful news to wake to this fine morning. Yes, indeed!


Friday, January 22, 2010

The week in review

It is hard to believe it is Friday. It really messes me up when Monday is not a real Monday. Why? I haven't a clue, but it does.

This has been a crazy week. I had a full calendar, perhaps because there were only four days this week! So I got nothing done around the house and it is looking a bit scary. I have really had issues with Kate this week, and am desperately in need of carpet cleaning yet again. Last night the pups had their yearly check-ups, and it was revealed why Miss Kate was having accidents again. We had spent Wednesday evening at class and she had a wonderful time with all the puppies that had shown up. Kate adores none. All went well and we headed home as usual. No big deal following the biggest class I have ever been to.

Fast forward to last night, a whopping 24 hours later. We got to the appointment a bit early and my best way of keeping the diva in check is to hold her on my lap. She so wanted to go visit everyone, so up she came. The dogs were weighed and I was quite pleased that Henry has maintained the exact same weight for two years. I guess I have the correct feeding amount and schedule. Kate gained a bit, which was good. She is still well within the standard at 31.2 pounds. She is changing and building muscle, so I am happy. However, when we got into the exam room and the vet came in I noticed that she was, as my aunt used to say, "in a delicate way." She is asleep behind me and is wearing her diaper. Happily she will be back to her normal self come the Albany show on Valentines day.

Yesterday I also tagged along on an appointment at Children's for the two grand girls of my daughter. They have eczema, and it was a recheck. I dare someone to try to convince me that my kids' father's skin issues are not eczema. He can self diagnose all he wants, but they are physician diagnosed and it all looks pretty darn familiar. Hopefully they will outgrow it, or at least be able to keep it in check with the knowledge gained. I have a love/hate relationship with Children's Hospital. I am so glad it is available in the area, but I really dislike teaching hospitals, and bad memories haunt me at Children's. Enough said about that!

This weekend is looking crazy, but so far, knock wood, next week looks a bit quieter.

With that said I am off to the post office and then back to do some yard work. Come on Spring!!!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Tired and sore

Pretty much describes the weekend. Three days of shows meant three days of getting up well before the sun and heading out for the two hour drive. We had fun, and Kate did great. For the very first time I didn't spend the week before in a near panic state, and that was wonderful. I learned a lot this weekend. Each evening I came home and studied the breed standard, and the next day still had a tough time figuring out what the judge was, and was not, seeing in the dogs each one was placing. The best part is that I know what I am liking, and that I know what Kate has and has not (although I still want Kim to critique for me sometime). As she (Kate, not Kim) continues to mature she will do better and better. My favorite class to watch has to be the BBE (Bred by Exhibitor) class. There is a sense of pride that is palpable. It is well deserved as there are some nice pups in there. Perhaps someday...No, No, NOOOOOO, lalalalala.

Saturday starts and I am fresh and clean, as is Katelan. I primp and iron and take the suit coat out of its bag, all clean and pressed. Kate is brushed, chalked, and her hair is fluffed and sprayed. However, once out of the ring I find that a part to my leg is malfunctioning. I need to head home and change it out before Sunday. Sunday starts off on the wrong foot, so to speak. The PA system is messed up and only if we REALLY concentrate hard can we hear the National Anthems. I had studied my breed standard and was completely confused, which is really no surprise, as that tends to be my state of mind at shows anyway. Then I hear over the now loud sound system. "Well folks, it's early in the show but we already have things gathering in the lost and found....(blah, blah, blah,) and one left shoe." sigh. I had wondered where my shoe had gone. I was pretty sure I had packed it, but when I was getting ready at ringside I only had one. The worst was going to claim it. Oh how I wish I had my shorts on. Perhaps then they would not have laughed at me quite so hard. The good news is that the part on the leg held, so there was no threat of losing it. So, that brings us to today, or last night. I fell into bed and started to read. The power went out. So I stumbled around and found my flashlight then set the phone alarm, called the power company (whose recording stated that power would be restored around 6am) and eventually fell asleep. Sadly I had decided to splurge on a Grub Hut burger and onion rings as my birthday dinner. BIG MISTAKE. I had heartburn big time. Lesson learned. Next time I will just go for the cheesecake. The wind was roaring something awful. I dozed on and off until 5 and got up. I turned on the news and heard about how bad the wind and rain, in spots, was, so decided to leave the house by 6:30. I didn't know if I would run into traffic or not, and knew that the Narrows Bridge was going to be an interesting ride, which it truly was. The road actually was moving under the truck. Moving enough that I could feel it. All I could think about was the news clip my Dad had of "Galloping Gertie;" the former version of the Narrows Bridge, that ended up in the water following a bad wind. I just wanted to get to the other side. It was a white knuckle ride. So today saw me rumpled and a tad "unkept" and I didn't care. Kate had a once over with the brush, but that was it for her as well. I was still tasting the onion rings and had the usual headache, that had somehow eluded me the past two days. We got to the fairgrounds early enough to stop and hear how my favorite double blue did on his first round in Rally. 100! Perfect score. I wish I had gotten to see him perform, as I had the day before when he won his class. I think we may have to give it a try, but no one shines like Casper. I headed back for ring check in. This time I wore my shoes. This time I came home with a huge broken blister. I guess it really doesn't pay to get cheap shoes, even for showing. I just can't risk it.

So another series is over. And the last time I give myself double ring time. It's time to be a big girl and start entering into "Open" instead of "American Bred." Four people have told me that I am doing Kate a disservice, but I was doing it more to get the experience in the ring. Now Kate will be competing with the big girls. I think we are ready.

I have my wounds to tend this time, literally. It won't slow me down, but I do wonder why I enjoy this so much.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

I found it!

and today I am loving the computer. They make sleezies for dogs. Yep, it's true, and the answer to my anxiety pre-show. What's a sleezy? I am pretty sure the horse folks who are reading this know. I knew and that began my search on the world wide web. A sleezy is a lycra garment that can be put on a show horse to "tame" the mane (hood) and keep the body clean when not in the show ring. As I was trying out different things on Kate's patch of crazy hair I realized that a sleezy would be a perfect solution as she could wear it after grooming to keep everything smooth. She will look goofy while wearing it, but beee-you-tea-full once she steps in the ring. I was set to find someone who would custom make me a sleezy for my pup, and now won't need to do that and am likely saving myself a chunk of change. I am very happy and very excited. No laughing at, and humiliating, my dog if'n you are lucky enough to catch her still in her "jammies." I have to do what I have to do to help her be competitive. Funny jammies included. Yep, crazy dog lady is becoming more and more fitting. Bite me!

New bucket list item. Same bad, bad person with the hydro. This spring I will be going to the area Airport and taking the introductory class and flight. He overheard me talking about the helicopter ride into the crater of St. Helens and how I still have that at the top of the list of coolest things I have ever done. As a person who not only flew small planes, but built the one he flew, he decided I needed to add a small plane to that short list. Luckily I cannot afford to get hooked on it, so all will be fine. I find it interesting that the more things I check off my bucket list, the even more things go into it. It is an interesting phenomenon.. I guess I would never want that list to end, as there would no longer be an incentive to keep on, would there?

Wonderful news from the youngest offspring whose artwork and skills are being awarded. He has been asked to do a seat for a custom motorcycle that will benefit Children's Research. The bike will be the featured centerfold on an upcoming issue of V-Twin magazine. This is huge and may be the "foot in the door" that he needs to get this portion of his business moving. He may also being doing some of the metal fabrication, but that is still up in the air. Congrats, kiddo. I'm very proud of you, but not at all surprised. It was just a matter of getting some of your artwork into the right hands, and it looks like it is happening. I could not be prouder.

With that, I am calling the computer stuff over for the time being. It is time to go put a few miles behind me and the woods are calling my name. First, however, I need to find...

the pedometer, sigh (and rain boots!)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lighten up, Grandma!

And so I will.
Last night I was invited to a potluck dinner at a friend's house. I tend to run quickly the other way, and she knew that, so tempted me with salmon. I love seafood. Any and all seafood. Then she says "why don't you bring a dessert?" Bad move. I vented. The poor thing. She quickly changed to "How about bringing some french bread?" Little did she know that I also was craving carbs, but I can much easier walk away from bread than from sugar. (Even the vision of tomatoes with sugar was beginning to stop working.) So, I went. I had salmon, two servings, and salad...also two servings. Why is salad so much better when thrown in a bowl by someone else? Oh, and two bottles of water. NO dessert touched these lips. I was having way too much fun sharing stories and didn't even think about getting up and getting dessert. (Of course that didn't keep me from kicking myself when I got home. Doh!) Once all the food was put away I wandered into the kitchen. I felt lucky that there was not an array of wonderful baked goods, but couldn't help wishing, and also being happy no one brought any. But I REALLY wanted a cookie. Why? I could even smell them. Wait...I really can smell them. Then I realized. It was not cookies I was smelling, but the woman standing next to me. She calmly told the group how her dear husband had actually bought her some perfume for Christmas. A first for him. The smell? Vanilla something or another. My neighbor in that kitchen smelled like a cookie! I can only imagine how much pacing I would be doing if I were wearing that perfume!
Then I headed out to the garage. The folks who were hosting the get together are into racing the mini hydroplanes and he had a new boat out there. When I was a kid my grandparents lived within walking distance of Green Lake, which used to host the mini hydro races. I loved it. I was explaining this to them when he pulled out a picture taken forty years ago, or so. He and his sister in front of a mini hydro at Green Lake. "So," says he, "can you kneel on your knees?" My heart begins to pound. "Yes, if I take off my leg." "Would you be interested in trying it out sometime?" This little six or eight foot speed boat can go forty some miles per hour. When kneeling it puts you pretty close to the water line. Of course once up to speed it pretty much skims along...but, well, heck yes, I would love to try it! So I begged for the racing schedule so I can hang on the shore and cheer. Memories of happy childhood coursing through my brain matter and veins. Then I spent some time looking at trophies and pictures of everything from hydroplane racing to model airplane racing. Then there was the airplane that he built from the ground up and flew for a number of years. It will now be sold to finance his new that he will share with his grandkids. It is funny how things change as we age. My kids are all on their own and self sufficient and that allows me to do a few things just for me, such as the dog show thing. It is getting easier to allow myself to spend on myself. Knowing that I will be leaving my kids and grandkids a greater vision of who I really am, certainly makes it easier. I hope that I am building memories for them as well as for myself. Oh, and, yes, there was a racing schedule in my email when I got home. Yes!!
So I will now take "lighten up" to another level and go fix a bowl of salad. The vision of sitting in the cockpit of that mini boat has replaced the picture of a tomato with sugar and I am suddenly craving salad.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm hungry

and I want sugar!

I find myself pacing around the house feeling like I am starving. I grab one of those four cup pyrex measuring cup and fill it with salad. I sit and eat it. There is absolutely no way that I can be hungry after I finish it. But I am jonesing. For sugar. I don't eat much of it, but when I want it, nothing else seems to do. I try to do something that gets my mind off of it. Then I want carbs. So I go to the still clean, and pretty much empty, fridge. Nothing appeals because I got rid of all the "bad" stuff. I notice a cube of butter and think about cookies. Instead I pull out the turkey breast and cut myself a slice. My choice is the turkey breast or the treadmill. I already tried the treadmill and kept telling myself that if I did another mile I could maybe reward myself with something sweet. I really don't want to go there. So I am sitting here eating my slice of meat; dipping it in horseradish and thinking about sugar sprinkled tomatoes. Yes, by jove, that seems to be working!!

The games that I must play with my head.


Friday, January 8, 2010

The day

Ten years ago. Christmas time; shortly before. I had spent several days in the hospital in heart failure. They could not figure out why. My face had swelled up and I couldn't breathe. I remember that well. It was hard to get to the bathroom. It had nothing to do with the disease that had ravaged my body for fifteen years. Well, of course it did, but not in a direct way; I think my body was tired and was giving up. I had two kids at home, and one in the Navy. I needed to be home for Christmas. One more Christmas. They discharged me on Oxygen. My house now had oxygen tubing that could stretch wherever I might need to go. A big machine sat in the front room, steadily providing me much needed air. I was dying. I was also in the middle of a divorce. My kids were my only remaining link to life. Such a strong link they were! (Well, then there is the fact that I didn't want the ex to get everything; I wanted something to pass to my children. I knew there would be nothing if I was gone before the divorce was final.) Yes, there was a faint spark still smouldering in this body. It is hard to think about, and harder to talk about. There were no more options medically for me. It was all my choice now. The nicest thing about the unknown is just that. They cannot predict the timing of one's demise, because they cannot figure out why it is happening. I needed Christmas with my kids. I don't remember ever thinking "one last time." I just remember that I needed it. It became my symbol of survival. I had that Christmas. When things were tough I held that Christmas close and declared "but I got Christmas with my kids." That declaration helped me overcome many more struggles in the next year.

Now my kids are all adults. Two have children of their own. I am scarred, but healthy. They have their own, hidden, scars. That makes me sad. The inner strength from that small spark all those years ago has grown into an inferno. What fuels the inferno is the knowledge that we have no guarantees. I got a glimpse of that when Mom died suddenly at the age of fifty seven. I would have been forty five. There is so much to do, to see, to experience. Always too little time.

My son wrote me yesterday to remind me that our first triathlon is coming up. He thought he was kicking me in the bum to get me going on my training. (He is that too.) What he really did was help me to remember that my children are still my link to life. They help me to choose the paths I will take. They are my greatest advocates, and my biggest allies. My son can run/swim/bike circles around me. He will come back and cross that finish line with me.

Ten years ago. Who ever would have thought...


Thursday, January 7, 2010


Perhaps just wishful thinking mixed with cleaning and dog shows. I am too tired to really notice.

Since I moved here a decade ago, I have not had garbage pickup. The dump is not too terribly far, and I would need to load the cans up in the truck and take them to the main street any way. Added cost and Scottish heritage dictated that I do dump runs myself. I threw in the towel a week ago and ordered service. I got tired of saving up bags of stuff until I had a truck load. Costs at the dump have been steadily climbing. I am sick of it. Today the big rolling recycle bin and much smaller rolling garbage bin arrived at the bottom of my hill. I had the dogs out for a walk when I noticed them so dragged them, and the dogs, up the hill to the house. Let me say, the dogs were less than pleased, but we made it just fine. Then, of course, I couldn't wait to fill them. In a very short time both were full and I am considering a dump run to clean out the rest and start with a clean slate. I cannot believe how happy I am to see a garbage can. Oh, and for what it is worth, it is now the same price to have it picked up. Bizarre, but true.

Then it is show time. Yes, indeed. A rather large showing of Cardigan Welsh Corgis awaits us next weekend in Puyallup. I have had a major attitude adjustment. I realized that my biggest factor was lack of grooming expertise. Saturday I will go for a one on one session with my conformation instructor. Once I get a handle on that I think I will stop stressing so much. THAT is a good thing for me, the dog, and everyone around me. Kate has a funny hair lump on her back that makes her look like she has a non level top line. In Idaho the breeder helped me groom, OK, she groomed, and we took the classes. I should have paid more attention. Now I will have a chance to get it done, and I am delighted. My pupster is getting a nice coat now, so we have as much chance as any one in doing well if she is properly groomed.

So I am now off to run a few errands and then take the dogs out for another run. The weather is perfect. Chilly and clear.

It must be spring...


Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Or a clever advertising scheme?

"Hoarders." I watch that show and immediately scan my house for things that can be purged. I make a list of cleaning supplies. I find myself picking up, dusting, and vacuuming during commercials. I notice how the piles on the counters and table need to be eliminated...and I cannot sleep until they are properly sorted and filed. That show is a boon for cleaning supply companies. Not a lot of us need those big blue "Got Junk" trucks, but I do think about how quickly the garage could be organized if I had one in my front yard. I find peace in the fact that very little in my house would draw me to tears if I had to do without it. I can quite easily donate a truckload to Goodwill, and am already scanning the area for the next big load to go. There is something quite nice about an easily organized house. In my little place that equates to sparse. It is sad to see people so tied to stuff. So tied that they risk losing their children for the memories that certain small trinkets give them. I remember when Mom died I had a dress that I kept for a very long time. At first it was for the smell. The smell of Mom, even as an adult, gave me comfort. It made me sad as the smell faded. I never wanted her to fade from my life. But she did. The memories are there, and will forever be, but she is gone. I have certain trinkets that I cherish and will pass on to my children and grandchildren, but she is gone. They will not mean the same things to them as they do to me. And that is OK. They don't even need to keep them. They don't remember her; some never knew her. They are just cool antiquey things. I'm good with that. But I am not good with piles and piles of cluttery stuff. I hate the smell of mildew. Walking into an antique shop gives me a headache.

My kids grew up in an unsanitary house. I tried to keep it up, and did a fair job until I got sick. Five of us in a 600 square foot house was tough. When I became bedridden the cleaning stopped. It makes me feel ill just to think back, so I won't. I am just grateful that I am out of there and that my kids are healthy. Our history shapes us, but that part of my history I really cannot revisit. I am not willing to acknowledge that it made me stronger, or a better person, or anything but extremely sad. However, the knowledge that it wasn't me is somewhat nice. Watching the television show gives me the little nudge I may need to keep "stuff" to a minimum.

I still think it may be a clever marketing ploy, however...

Shopping list:
Comet Cleanser
Dust rags
Electronic cleaning wipes
Refill for mop

Perhaps I am becoming "Obsessed"? Do I need an "Intervention"? Perhaps I should stick to Nick at Night...


Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad

01/04/1923 - 10-06-2006
I still miss you.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A strange day leads to over active brain syndrome

...meaning I couldn't shut my thoughts down to get a good night's sleep. Strange, unrelated events and thoughts kept me awake, or woke me up, most of the night. There was nothing stressful, in fact, for the most part I was in awe of all the things, and people, that have come into my life.

I had the great idea to go to the mainland and do a bit of shopping. I had two things that were left undone from the whole Christmas thing. They both involved very specific stops at very specific stores; the first being just a couple of miles from the ferry landing. Rather than take the truck I decided to call a friend; we had promised to meet on the break between Christmas and New Year's, and this was a way to meet that goal as well. This person is someone I have known for many, many years. I was picked up at the terminal and we made our first stop. The door to the shop was locked, but I was able to get a phone number and figured any potential business could be done over the phone. As we talk I feel saddened. We share so little now. On we go to the next shop. The entire facility is bustling, but the one shop I needed was locked tight. We grab some lunch, OK, grab is a poor word as it took forever to just get someone to take our order. sigh. Then it happens. Something I swore I would never do. A discussion of politics begins to dribble from my lips. What am I doing? What am I even thinking? We are so far apart in this area, and I knew it from our years of history. The discussion lasts less than five minutes, and was not heated at all, at least not on my end. It started innocently enough as a discussion on a toll bridge over here raising rates to pay for a new bridge in Seattle. From there it generally deteriorated to state budget and then National deficit. I made my views known in less than five minutes and it was over. We basically drew each other a sketch of who we are, and we are not even in the same ball field; heck, we are not even in the same stadium, nor same sport. I enjoy having many independent thinkers in my life. It keeps me examining who I am. It keeps me real. I don't enjoy debate, nor do I ever try to explain the deepest things of what makes me who I am. There is no analyzing. It just is. We head back for the ferry and, in keeping with the rest of the day, I arrived just as the ferry is pulling out. I take some time to go walk the beach, as the sun is just beginning to drop. I need to wrap my head around the day.

I then head up the ramp to the holding area. That is when I see it.

I have been walking past this window for months, or maybe even years. Yet at just that moment, the beauty came through. A life lesson? Perhaps.

So home I head, with my heart just a bit lighter. Then I open the door and let my dogs out. It is now dark, but we go out to run in the field and feed the horse. I can barely see the dogs, but they are chasing down balls and bringing them back as if it were the middle of the day. Their lives are pretty simple. Perhaps that is why they are so endearing to me. I adore my pupsters. That makes me think of a breeder friend who discovered that she has a dog that did not pass some tests that would make her (the dog, not the person) a good breeder. Many people go by the "don't ask, don't tell" thing. She has chosen to know, and to put out dogs that will continue to improve the breed. It meant that her dog needed to be rehomed to make room for another. I am in awe. I am no breeder. I am so grateful that she, and others like her, are there for those of us that want a healthy quality dog that will hopefully live a long life. That these breeds will continue to make us laugh for generations to come. (Thanks, dear lady.)

This morning when I drug this stiff and sore body out of bed I realized something else. I no longer look for shortcuts to every thing and every where. Not so long ago I would find myself arranging (in my head) lists of things that I needed at the other end of the house, or outside, or in the barn. It saved steps. Now I find myself making numerous trips and rather enjoying it. I cannot sit for long or I feel frantic. I need to move. I make a dozen trips out to the pasture each least. Rain or shine. When the dogs lose interest, OK, dog (Kate never loses interest) in the ball and leaves it at the farthest, and opposite, end of the field, I just go scoop it up before calling the playtime over. I learned during the freezing period that wet frozen tennis balls are not real desirable to doggy mouths, and it is the best way to keep my guys in condition. I now bring the balls into the house after each romp. I throw them into the wash when I do a load; it makes finding them a lot easier. A few months ago I would just leave the balls and start the next session with a different one. If I were to come across one when I did my daily scoop session I would collect it for later use. It was not uncommon to have ten balls in various corners of the field. An interesting change of events. Do I get sore? Absolutely! Some days it is all I can do to pull the leg on. But it goes away, or quiets down a bit. Little changes in my body become big changes in the fit. It's one of those things that makes me acutely aware of where the medical system may be heading in our country. But it also makes me realize that this is life. Growing older brings on more aches and pains. With each I get a choice. I find pushing through the pain to be somewhat exhilarating, in an odd, perhaps demented, way.

Perhaps I enjoy living my life through b-b riddled glasses. The view can be quite interesting...once the brain settles down.

Friday, January 1, 2010


and so it begins

I must admit that I don't "do" New Year's Eve. To me it is but another evening. I heard fireworks at around 9:30pm, and I went to bed at 10. However, this morning I decided that I needed to get into the spirit of the new year. I had read about a lot of Polar Bear club dips and thought it could be fun. However, the idea of joining a mob of people that run in and then out just didn't seem to fit my particular needs. Truth is, I wasn't sure how the heck I was going to do it. The swim is no big deal. I knew that my pool was much colder than Puget Sound. There is still a layer of ice on my pool. The Sound sits around 48 degrees year round. As a kid I swam in the Sound often. But back then I had two lower extremities. So I decided my best option was crutches to the water line. It is freaking cold to wade in to, as is my pool in the summer. I would much prefer to go off the pier or dock. I just couldn't figure out how to do that safely. Next year I will find a place where I can leave crutches on the beach and take off my leg on the dock and jump in. Either that or I will find a couple of people crazy enough to join me that will help walk me back up the beach. At any rate, with the wind blowing and the temps about what the water was, it felt surprisingly warmer than I expected.

Check another thing off the Bucket List.

When I got home I sawed a hole in the barn door and installed a window; Windy's Christmas present. I am hoping she will be more willing to hang in the barn if she can see out both ends. I still have to frame it, but the Plexiglas is in and secure on the inside. I just need to frame the outside so it looks more finished. The up side is that it is much lighter in the tack area. Right now the electric is off out there as the motion sensor lights are not going off and I haven't gotten around to replacing them. Re-setting hasn't worked and I am likely going to pay now for going cheap back then. So it goes. While I was out sawing, neighbor "Jim" came by to cuss and spit as he told his tales of woe on moving. Yes, indeedy, he is gone. Tonight he is sleeping in his new place far away from here. He said he will be leaving a mess, so it may be a bit before the house goes on the market. I really feel for the family of the landlord. Losing someone so close to Christmas makes a mess of the holiday for years to come. I hope that I get a chance to talk with them when they come to work on the place. They may find it makes sense to hire someone to do the cleaning. The place is quite small, but I can only imagine how messy it may be. I sure hope someone buys it that loves it, and the trees around it. I also want to make sure that it is properly measured and marked. I have only a clue where my property lines are, and I may be needing to fence depending on the new owner.

Tomorrow will see the Christmas tree coming down and the house cleaned. I think it is time to paint. (Gee, thanks for the inspiration, Kim.) This summer I will need to paint the outside of the house. I might as well get practiced by doing the inside this winter. I have wanted to do it since I moved in. Now, six dogs later it is past time. I had a scot that loved to wipe herself off by rubbing along the walls. I have a dark line about a foot off the floor. The two I have now don't do the wall rub tango. I know the color I want, but haven't been able to find it as of yet. I will take a trip to Sherwin Williams and see what they can find that is close...then I will go to Home Depot because I am cheap.

Two weeks from today will be the first day of the Puyallup show. My instructor is home with a new litter of Newfie of them. Hopefully she can still fit me in for grooming help during the week before. All three of my fur-kids had pedicures yesterday. The dogs get done each week. Kate is easy. Henry, not so. He is getting there. Now he submits to the muzzle, so we are getting there. One baby step at a time. I'm hoping someday to be able to use the grinder on him as well. It does a much nicer job and I have yet to draw blood using it. With Henry's feet issues it may be a long while before he will tolerate the vibration.

2010 will be a year of a lot of firsts. I look forward to each and every adventure that I get to encounter.