In order to keep from falling into a winter funk I always try to book January pretty full of "stuff" and it has indeed been a busy month and it flew by. So this is really just a catch up post for me and friends/family that are wondering "what's up"! (The rest of you probably will be bored to tears - you've been warned).
Dog news....Epic is still ADORING his swimming and he and Sterling are both very much enjoying when we can get out for long walks or even just the days they can go our in the front yard with big raw bones and enjoy the nice weather. I've really been bad about setting aside time for them which is on my list once the latest house project is completed. In the meantime they will just have to suck it up.
With the change in Paqui's living arrangements and Sterling removing the dirty dishes from the kitchen sink (apparently he doesn't appreciate my efforts to keep them clean) I have completely rearranged the dog living quarters in the house (and Iago's as well). Since the whole reason I had the dogs crated in my office was to not have to heat the back bedroom (leaving it cooler for Sterling), now that Paqui is back I moved all the little dogs crates back there full time as well and moved Sterling's crate into my bedroom where Epic stays too. It is kind of like oh a three ring circus you might say! That moved Iago the macaw back into her "spot" in the office and freed up a bunch of space in my family room. Everyone seems to be adjusting well to the change in location (knocking on wood).
Am I the only one that notices that every time you think you just MIGHT get a dime ahead (hopeful that taxes would do that) something fixes THAT? So looking forward to getting some bills paid off with my tax refunds and boom - the van dies. Well not totally dead but grounded until I get my refunds. Still have the 100K maintenance to do on the truck too. Ouch! So glad that 1. I have the truck/extra vehicle and 2. that gas prices are down so I can fill it now that I'm driving it full time. Not complaining mind you as things always work out but geez!
Meanwhile planning is in full swing for the "fun stuff" for the year. I am really having a heart to heart with myself on whether or not I want to spend much $$ on agility. While the poodles ADORE training for it (and I enjoy seeing many of my friends) Sterling could take or leave competition and Epic isn't ready yet. So am really thinking this year I may not do any agility competitions. Both boys would be able to do rally but again, my heart isn't in it. So at this point (all dog people start thinking and planning for events this time of year) I think I'm going to continue to work Sterling on his cart work (draft) to maybe compete someday. Epic will continue growing up and we may see what Splash Dog has coming up in the area. The one event I will be doing is working (not competing though) the tracking test this year (since I'm an officer and didn't do it last year). My hope is to combine that weekend with a few days of down time camping/hiking/photography/kayaking at Holland Lake yup - with ALL the dogs and the trailer - YIKES! :-)
I've been busy this past week painting in the house - AGAIN (or is that "still)! I started painting the main inside of my house last year and didn't get it finished so this weekend while it was cold and gray and yucky outside I decided I needed to get that going again. I finished up the kitchen Tuesday night and now am on the hunt for backsplash for both the counter and the stove area. I am so looking forward to getting THAT off my to-do list so I can go play outside without guilt when the weather turns nice. Besides, with the kitchen in tatters now (fridge moved out, shelves moved, counters full) I really have motivation to get it done! Also allowed me to finally get the pictures up in the family room that I've had stashed since I got them 6 months ago. It feels really good to have that portion of the project done!
The truck and trailer went in and got the new weight distribution/anti sway hitch put together and the trailer brake adjusted! I can safely tell you all now that I had nightmares the previous night about towing it in for the very first time behind my truck. I've not hitched up the new trailer and was eternally grateful to the ATC folks that actually used MY trailer to demo how to correctly hitch up one of their products as there were a few things that they do differently. Once I was out there looking for that video (on YouTube) I found they also did a video walk through of the VRV product using my trailer as well! The super cool think is that the trailer is exactly as wide as my truck so no need for towing mirrors and definitely a bonus on some of the back roads! I do need to get used to towing again as it has indeed been years since I had a pull behind (drove the 34' motorhome for 7 years in between) and it did take me a bit to get the trailer backed into the spot by the garage. I apparently forgot that how I "used to do it" was before I had the front yard fenced. No longer enough space to do that maneuver so I'm going to have to come up with a different plan. Good news is I did NOT hit the garage or any other objects while backing it in!