July 12, 2010

The day at the vet's

Cheyenne went into the vet's today. She stopped eating and we found blood in her urine. Of course all of the worst case scenarios run through our heads at a time like that. She's our most senior girl and one of two of our original rescues left at Kaos.

It turns out she has a large stone in her bladder and a UTI. Yep, that'd make me uncomfortable too! The downside is that it has to be removed surgically, which means we have to wait for bloodwork to come back to make sure she's a good candidate for surgery.

Poor baby. She did get some good meds for the pain...she's sleeping now (which she does a lot). Bloodwork results tomorrow at 9am. Keep your paws crossed for Miss Cheyenne.

June 28, 2010

I can't go to the show that weekend...I'm going camping!

Anyone who knows me might need a minute to pick themselves up off of the floor and make sure that they're in the right blog, check that their glasses and screens are clean and that they didn't mis-read that statement. Just for clarity, let me repeat that: I can't go to the dogshow that weekend, I'm going camping.

Yep, it sounds the same way the second time.

Blame it on Karen Ramstead. Because this personal growth or fit of insanity, depending on your point of view, is her fault. Completely and 100% her fault.

Let me give you a little bit of history. A few years ago my husband, Sean, started going out with a group of people who thought it was fun to go dry camping and run their dogs in the desert on weekends. Dry camping - an activity involving sleeping in tents, on the ground, in undeveloped camp sites with no facilities other than a fire ring. Get the idea? Roughing it.

I was happy to let him take the dogs and take off, usually with my Mom, to meet up with Nicole, Patti and the rest of the Red Mountain gang for the weekend while I went to a dog show, slept in a real bed and had ameneties. Then Karen came to town.

I'd "known" Karen on line for some time. The woman is amazing. She has run the Iditarod several times, lives in the wilds of Perryvale, Alberta (that's Canada, not a typo for Alabama) several miles from the closest Starbucks. She has working dogs who show, and successfully too. She's amazing, because she does all of this while making us, her internet fanclub, feel like we're part of her team. When she does well, we all celebrate. When something goes wrong, we feel like we're sharing her pain and disappointment. Yeah, we're Karen groupies. Then she came to town.

I must have been at a point in my life where I was ready to learn more. When we attended her talk, I listened with my heart as well as my head. I heard her love for the dogs and their love for her while they were out on miles of trail without another person around. I felt my growing envy as she described the teamwork and relationships she developed with each of her dogs. I mean, I love my dogs and we have a great relationship...especially the ones who sleep in the bedroom or travel to shows with me. But the relationship she described went so far beyond that and it made me wonder. What was I missing by skipping out on running the dogs?

So I announced to my husband that I was going to Red Mountain with him that winter. When he picked himself up off the ground, he grinned. Or was that a grimace?

It's been two years of winter runs in the desert now. I can't describe the joy of watching my dogs do what is in their heart...running in harness. I can't describe the joy of watching Robin develop as a leader, choosing trail and developing the confidence not to look back and ask "is this OK?" as she moves the team around a turn and headed up the trail. The utter contentment as they curled up on their picket line, resting after a good run was amazing to see...even more so knowing that it would change in an instant if I were to pick up a harness and let them know we were going out again.

I couldn't tell you exactly what Karen said. Maybe it was her words and the light in her eyes as she described a trip with her dogs. Maybe it was the moment she told us about a lessons she learned from one of her dogs. Whatever it was, I'm glad she said it at the exact moment that I heard it. Because it made me say "I want that."

So I won't be at the dog show (insert random weekend here) ...I'll be up at Big Bear camping with my dogs. Hey, at least Big Bear has amenities...in the desert the only amenities you have are miles and miles of trail and that's more than enough for me.

P.S. Karen's coming down to Southern California again. If you're not going to be at the dog show that weekend, check http://www.urbanmushing.com/ for the details and registration info.

June 04, 2010

I love time with Mom

Don't get me wrong, I really do....but do all of my trips with her have to be preceeded by a bath? I mean, really, every time? When I go with Daddy I don't get baths. In fact, Daddy lets us play in the dirt.

I didn't get to go last weekend; Emmy got the bath and the trip with mom and they were gone a long time. Today it was my turn. Mom keeps muttering "2 more points" and I don't really get what she means, but I got a bath.

I'll let you know if I figure out what that "two more points" thing means.

Luv, Robin

May 15, 2010

Quality Control

Mom's been sending a lot of stuff out of the house, she says it's books and stuff...but I can read, this box clearly says "PetEdge." I'm pretty sure that means it's for us! Mom explained that it was trophies for the specialty coming up (that I don't get to show at, but that's another gripe, she's taking Emmy that weekend) and it has to go down to Three Dog Bakery in San Clemente so Aunt Claire can add the dog cookies to the trophy bowls. Hello? Dog, cookies..what part of ME isn't registering with Mom?

So, since she wasn't going to let me have anything in the box, including the squeaky toys, I did my best to make sure that she carefully repacked everything so that it shipped safely.

I tell you, in my next life I want to come back as a companion breed, not one of these working breeds!!!

Artie & Mercedes went to a picnic today. Again I ask...what about ME? They said they had fun, got to run in a tunnel and got lots of cookies...but some of the dogs didn't like them. WHAT? I may pick on the little rascals, but everyone else is supposed to adore them. No one doesn't like my little brother and sister. Mom says that Jindos don't really like "in your face" dogs...and Artie and Mercedes certainly qualify as that...so maybe I can understand their point of view. Mercedes said she sang loud and long all the way there and home. Good girl!

More later,

May 09, 2010

Has anyone seen my Nylabone?

Momma says some dogs don't even like nylabones or other hard plastic chew toys. She says her friends tell her that their dogs ignore them.

I don't know why she doesn't tell those people to send those unwanted, unloved and *whole* nylabones here. We're running low.


May 07, 2010

The craft room project continues...but first...

I have a co-blogger. Robin has decided that the canine view point is not being adequately represented and has decided that since part of the computer chair is hers, she should be able to help me on the computer too. That or she thinks she should help me with my dinner.

Now, remember "that" room? Here's the view down the hall. Not much has changed in this view, unless you put the two pictures side by side and I'm not smart enough with Blogger's picture layouts to do that.

But look!!! There's a TABLE there! And tops of Iris carts! And those plastic boxes to the left? Those are ceramic house/village things that Mom bought that are going in the garage sale...and that's the last row of stuff before the back of the first row of Iris carts. Obviously the fabric/sewing area to the right is still a little out of control...but there's only so much you can get done at a time. The upholstery sewing machine is actually going to move over where those plastic boxes are, so we have to do things in just the right order to keep things moving in the right direction.

But here's where you can really see the progress...almost the whole first row of Iris carts is visible and you can see all the way across the room! This is major progress. We've been putting stuff away (there's a concept), throwing junk away (yes, it's real junk, don't panic) and putting stuff in the garage sale room. That pile is HUGE! It's like Clean Sweep without the therapy...or the deadlines.

I'm really getting excited that we're going to have this room functional soon.

May 06, 2010

I just vacuumed yesterday!!!

I don't think there's anything else I need to add. I'll be the one with the broom over there in the living room.

April 27, 2010

What a day!!!

It started at 6am, something that hasn't happened in a LONG time...well, since I was laid off a couple weeks ago. (I'm OK with the layoff for those of you who haven't heard about it, the timing actually works out well for the whole "wife of brain surgery patient" role I'm filling right now.

Started the day at the neuro-oncologist. That's the doctor with dual specialties in neurology and oncology...brain tumor guy. He's the Dept. head, so I guess we were referred right to the top. Basically, he wants another MRI/MRV to see if that pesky vein is completely occluded. If it is then it's time for Brain Surgery: The Sequel to remove the rest of the tumor. He seems to think that it is completely occluded. Let me tell you, he's going to have to convince me before I let him cut into Sean's head again; I'd prefer not to have a stroked out vegetable for a husband. But if we can get the rest of the tumor out, that'd be a good thing. Then we had a break.

Since I haven't been over on that side of town for a LONG TIME (years, really) we went down to Pacific Art Glass in Gardena. What fun that was! While I was browsing the aisles I found some fun new things to play with. The first things I picked up were some cool paper packs from Glassline. Created with different colors and textures, they go between a clear and colored sheet, and when the firing is done, the texture shows. I'm picturing an etched Siberian Husky (reverse, so the dog's silhouette is clear and the rest of the piece is etched) on a complementary colored base. I think it's going to be stunning! It is in my head anyway!

Then I found fusible decal paper. Print the decal on the laser jet and slide the decal on and fuse it. I can scan and print photos, etc. Coasters with old sled-dog postcard images...all sorts of things come to mind, some of which are going to be surprises for the recipient, so I'm not going into much detail.

Then I found the Glassline paints. These aren't new, per se, but they're new to me, so I got black...should have gotten white too, that would have given me some good variety but I'll manage with just one color (no, Kelly, I didn't buy one of each color of either the paint or the paper...see how I've changed?)

As I was checking out, I turned around and saw Dicro Slide...a dichroic coated paper that I can make pretty dicro images from and fuse them onto plain glass....more ideas are born in my head.

After talking with the guys at the counter about a few other ideas I had cooking, I decided it was time to check out before I spent more money than we had (not hard to do since I'm not working right now!) and we left to go find somewhere quiet to sit and read while we waited for our next doctor's appointment.

This doc is a surgical oncologist. He does surgical radiation therapy and stuff like that. After a brief discussion of Sean's case, he dropped a bombshell on us. He needed us to locate Sean's medical records of the treatment he had for leukemia in 1974/75 before he could even start to figure out how the radiation treatment plan for Sean was going to come together. I could picture what the records we have look like in my mind....I was just hoping I could lay my hands on them when we got home. And I DID! They were in a folder labeled "Medical Records - Sean." Phew!!! That gave us a great starting point to contact the facility where the treatment was to see if there was any chance that they have the actual records available. But we know based on what the doctor said, that the info in these copies was enough for him to make plans from...but more info is better.

Then it was a drive to the optical place to pick up my new glasses (replacements for the ones that Robin ate at a few months ago and the puppies trashed the lenses last week) and then to the pharmacy to pick up a new anti-seizure med for Sean.

It's been a long day and tomorrow.....I'm sleeping in!

April 25, 2010

A corner emerges!

Before I get started on today's progress, here's a photo of the west wall that I didn't take yesterday. See that computer way down at the end??? That's supposed to be usable because that's the one that the networked printer is attached to...as well as the scanner. Out of the frame on the right are the sewing machines...a regular one and an upholstery machine. Actually you can see the standard machine's table under those boxes. Both are very nice to have...when you can get to them!
Then I decided to start in my corner...the glass corner. You'd be amazed how much dust can accumulate in 10 years when you live in a community that has ongoing construction. But, as you can see (well, I guess you can't see the shelf) all of the glass tools are put away, all of the glass molds are boxed and labeled on the shelf (look over the top of the paper boxes...that's the molds) and everything that wasn't glass related was removed from the table...almost.
That stack of three boxes is stuff for the Siberian Husky Club of America Meet the Breeds booth that I help with every year in December. Obviously I need to find a better place to store that stuff! This is the last year that the booth will be in Long Beach, CA...so hopefully next year I can ship it to another vicim...errr...volunteer.
In the bottom right corner you can see my small kiln. That was my first kiln and I've kept it for test firings and small projects...because I AM going to use this area! Over by the window are a stack of AKC Stud Books. I'm going to find someone who wants them and get them out of my house. I've gotten the reference info I need out of them for my database. I hope I don't have to throw them away, because they're good info....but I refuse to let them clutter up my space.
One of the biggest challenges was keeping the progress I'd made on my worktable. Taking non-glass stuff off of the glass table meant that it had to go somewhere, so it all stacked on the worktable. I'm happy to show that I didn't slide backwards. After gettting the glass table done, I cleaned the work table back off. It's not perfect, but at least I didn't lose ground there. Although you can't see it, I also got rid of two boxes underneath the glass table. I can sit and have somewhere to put my feet! Four bags of garbage, two piles of recyclables, a pile moved to the garage sale room, a couple of Ebay listings and 4 hours later, I pronounced myself satisfied and called it a day.

April 24, 2010

There's a room in here....somewhere!

When we bought this house, one of the huge selling points (other than the secure back yard for the dogs) was the fabulous 20x22' bonus room upstairs. The room has windows on 3 sides, west, north and south and was a lovely, empty room just waiting for Mom and I to move our studios into it and get back to our creative sides. Did I mention we bought this house in 2002?

Somewhere since then things have gone horribly wrong. Here, let me take you on a tour. Here's the entry way (a door has since been built at the hallway/landing area so that this room can be closed off...to keep the dogs out of course.

Looking into the hallway, you're looking at the south side of the room facing west... lovely windows and light, but you can't tell because we never open them! And the room looks a little...disorganized? Yeah, that's our word.
Here's the aisle between the two rows of very dusy iris carts...all neatly labeled and yes, their contents match the labels. And there's that beautiful south window. We've got blinds for all of the windows, which will go up when we can get to them!!!

Here's the north side of the room...the other end of the aisle you were just looking at. There in the upper corner is my glass station...or it was. It'll be back!

And here's the south side of the room...unfortunately, it's right at the entrance, so this is where stuff gets stacked before it gets moved somewhere else in the room to give us more room to stack.

Here's my worktable. As you can tell, I spend a lot of quality time here and get a lot accomplished!

After a couple hours of cleaning, we've got more stuff moved into the garage sale pile and look!!! we found a table top! This is my workspace (with the glass area behind me). I won't fib and tell you that everything on that table found a home...some of it is just boxed up to be gone through later...but it's a start!!!

I couldn't even contemplate taking pictures along the east wall, directly to the right as you go in the room. It's got Mom's upholstery and sewing machines, fabric and drawers of more fabric and my drawers of "haven't been used in 10 years" rubberstamps, as well as the desktop computer, another work table and...well, I'm not sure what else is under there. We'll save that for another day.

Wish me luck! Between my desire to get rid of everything I've not touched in 10 years and Mom's desire to keep everything...it should be entertaining watching this room evolve into a working space.

January 08, 2010

It's never to early to start training the puppy

Here's Quinn and her first time out in harness at 5 1/2 weeks.

Ok, so maybe she didn't pull anything (esp that cart in the background) but she didn't try to eat the harness...she's light years ahead of Robin who has 3 smart phones and 2 harnesses on her side of the score board so far.
The puppies had another uneventful weekend out camping. Lots of people to play with, lots of new dogs to meet...it was probaby be their last camping weekend before they start heading off to their new homes.