Monthly Archives: December 2008

That’s All Folks!

As 2008 winds down to a close (I’m posting on New Year’s Eve eve, in case I’m too busy tomorrow night), now is the time to reflect on the past 12 months. As far as birthdays go, it was a banner year for me – I hit the big 3-0. It wasn’t traumatic or anything like that, just another birthday. Goodness knows I don’t feel (or act) 30 . . . maybe that will come this year?

January was my trip to the ASC Flushing Spaniel Show in Philly, and seeing Billy again (and meeting so many wonderful e-friends). What an awesome, awesome experience! I got to see my favourite dog, and to meet some great people.

March saw the addition of Jack Jack to the world (and ultimately my family, but that came later). March was my parents’ cruise, and their eventual caving in to my request for a third dog.

April was the birth of my new niece, as well as Farley earning another performance title, at the ripe old age of 8!

May was dog shows, Vegas and my mom’s birthday.

The summer was a blur of puppy classes, dog shows and people visiting. The fun never ended, but man I sure got tired.

The fall saw me teaching my first set of obedience classes, as well as Jack Jack earning his first points on his first day in the ring. Can’t complain about that! Jack Jack and I continued with obedience classes, and Grace and I started training in agility. It got very, very busy again.

November saw me on the road TONS for work . . . too much. I think it was the start of my dark state of mind, mostly from exhaustion. I also did too much training, and felt pulled in all directions.

December was Christmas . . . parties, teas, luncheons, presents, wrapping, family, etc. You get my drift.

What will 2009 hold? Nobody knows. But I hope it’s a pleasant trip, and I hope it’s a happy, healthy year for my friends and family.

The Ties That Bind

Well, the first half of holiday celebrations is over . . . Christmas has come and gone, and there were no fatalities due to disagreements. That’s always a good thing! My brother, his fiancee and their four kids came up to visit, along with their three dogs and my brother’s step-daughter, who lives with her mom here in town. We had five adults, five kids and six dogs in this house, and I learned that although the square footage is mathematically sufficient, there wasn’t quite enough personal space. People were always stepping on a kid or a dog, or maybe even each other.

The dogs handled it well, for the most part. There were VERY few accidents (none from my dogs – yahoo!) and only a few tense moments. For the most part they co-existed well, which is saying a lot for my cranky old man, dominant female and scaredy-cat dog. Jack Jack didn’t scream at anyone (other than my 8 month old niece today, for some odd reason) and Farley only scrapped once, which is darned good for him. Grace was a pro . . . of my three dogs, she is by far the easiest to introduce to others. Nothing fazes her, and she handled everything with aplomb.

We had the typical kid arguments, but nobody lost any limbs. My middle niece did lose her cookies more than one – there’s nothing like the gift that gives over and over again like the stomach flu. Poor kid. And of course, when one has it, everyone gets it eventually.

The adults even played nicely for the most part. There were a few tiffs, but nothing worth dwelling on. Everybody made an effort, and it was noticed. There was a lot less stress than any of us anticipated, and it was a welcome deviation.

Hope your family ties simply bound and didn’t strangle over the holidays . . .

Update

Many, many hours. Blood (well, maybe), sweat and tears. Goodness knows how much money for a new toilet, new seat, extra wax seal and a bunch of new tools. Cursing, more sweat and more tears.

New toilet. Finally. Maybe there is a plumbing career in our future after all (it was a family effort – even Farley tried to help!)

Thank God.

Learned something new

Yes, that’s right. Today I learned something new. I’m not a plumber. Now, I’m sure this doesn’t really surprise any of you, considering I’ve never had any training as a plumber. But the flushing mechanism on my toilet crapped out (pun intended *snicker*) just over a week ago, and I figured it should be an easy fix. Buy a new chain at the hardware store, fit it to the flushing mechanism, and presto! the toilet would be fixed. Hah! The chain was relatively easily fixed. But then I snapped off the floating arm that stops the toilet from overfilling.

No worries, I thought. I figured it would be simple to fix (relatively). I’ve installed a ceiling fan, so what can’t I do? Apparently installing a new floating arm thingy is slightly beyond my capability. And of course, now I’m annoyed beyond belief. We have company coming from out of town on Wednesday, and we’re down a toilet. Sigh.

Anybody have the number of a good plumber????

Holiday Pictures

Here are two pictures of some of the ornaments on my mother’s Christmas tree. It has a bird theme, and I was playing with my Rebel XTi on macro settings.

Also pictured are the reindeer cupcakes that I made for the work Christmas party . . . cute, heh?
And what holiday post is complete without a photo of Santa Paws????

What a weekend!

Everything started Thursday, with my sore throat. I seem to always get sick at Christmas, and apparently this year will be no exception. I guess the good news is that I’ll be sick before the big day, instead of during. Thursday night I was meant to choose between Mackenzie’s Christmas concert and Jack’s second last obedience class. I ended up going to neither, since I felt so awful. I went to bed instead.

Friday was uneventful, with the exception of the sore throat. UGH! We had our team meeting at work and our Secret Santa gift exchange. It was fun. I left work early to run some errands. Friday night mom and I had fresh Atlantic lobster for supper. Yummy, yummy, yummy! I went to bed early again, because I wasn’t feeling well.

Saturday morning I got up at a decent time, as my mom and I had to stop by the post office to pick up some parcels. We had tried to pick them up on Friday night, but the post office had locked their doors for 2 hours to offload a truck. Mom was heading out of town to Sherwood Park, Camrose and then to my brother’s place for a couple of days. We went our separate ways, and I ran a couple of errands before heading home. As I was walking in the door, my cell phone rang. It was my mom – the car had broken down on the highway about 20 minutes outside of the city. She couldn’t get through to AMA, so she asked me to look up a family friend’s phone number (she works for a tow truck company). I turned around and left the house, to get my mom. I had to stop for gas on the way, so I was slow. Fortunately, mom got ahold of our family friend, and a tow truck was actually on its way out of town, so that worked out well. Mom called me and we agreed to meet at the Chrysler dealership in town.

We have recently had lots of snow, and Chrysler hadn’t cleared all of it from their cement barriers that demarcate their parking lot. As I pulled into a spot (not quickly at all!), I hit a barrier and heard a huge crack. It was the bumper of my car, cracking almost clean off 😦 I wanted to cry! I went inside to ask for help, and eventually a fellow from Service came out and re-attached a piece of it, so the car is driveable. So I waited for my mom, and then when she arrived with the tow truck, we moved everything she had packed from her car into mine. Then we went for lunch and went home.

Saturday night was the training school party – a ray of sunshine in a crummy day. We had a “chinese” gift exchange, where everybody brings a gift under a certain value and then people can steal from others, etc. It was fun. Koralee (owner) had tons of food, beverages and the world’s most incredible cheesecake! She also bought gifts for all the staff – I got two VERY cute Cocker Spaniel t-shirts, a calendar, and some small goodies.

Sunday morning my throat was still super sore, so I decided to go to Emergency. He told me I have strep throat and gave me penicillin and codeine-laced cough syrup.

On top of everything, we have mice somewhere in our basement (in the crawl space), and darned if we can figure out how they got in. We’ve trapped and disposed of several now, and it grosses me out. I just want it all to stop!
So how were your weekends???? LOL

Secret Santa

Today at work we had our Secret Santa gift exchange. Basically, everybody pulls a name from a hat and buys for that person (as long as they don’t draw their own name!). The dollar value is $20-$25, and the gift has to be tasteful. It’s lots of fun!

People got some great gifts this year . . . it’s obvious that a lot of thought went into what people bought. Our boss, who is here from Australia, got a Royal Canadian Mint 50 cent piece with a holographic snowman on it. VERY cool! The co-worker that our boss purchased for received a small framed print by an Australian artist. I got a dog record book – like a journal for a dog, with sections for all aspects of a dog’s life. VERY nice.

Everybody brought in some goodies (I brought in cupcakes decorated as reindeer), and a nice time was had by all. I hope your workplace (if you have one, of course) does a similar, festive event.

12 Wonderful Holiday Traditions to Share With Your Dog

1.Pick Out a Tree Together. There are tree farms that allow you to walk around and tag your tree. How about doing it with your dog? What a wonderful tradition!

2.Holiday Paw-di-cure. How about a holiday pedicure for your pooch? You can be creative and paint the nails alternatively red and green just for fun.

3.Pet Parade. Some towns or pet stores sponsor a dog event – even a dog parade. Dress up your dog in his favorite bandana or Santa cap and take part.

4.Hang a Dog Stocking. Why not? If you have a stocking – your dog should too. Many of the dog lovers I know have stockings for each of their dogs.

5.Go See Santa. How about a photo of your dogs or you and your dogs with Santa? This also makes a great holiday card.

6.Blessing of the Animals. Check your local paper or pet store bulletin board to find out if there is a local event in your area.

7.Make Some Dog Treats. Make some healthy homemade dog treats and allow your dog to be the helper and master sampler. Make extra for your dogs friend or your friend’s dogs. Go to: Holiday Treats and Healthy Dog Treats for recipes.

8.Quiet Time. Spend a little quiet time with your dog. Even an evening when you decorate the tree or just listen to some holiday music is often a welcome time for you and your dog.

9.Holiday Walk. Go for a stroll and enjoy some of the views and lights.

10.Bandana. Some dogs like to be dressed and others don’t but most will tolerate a simple holiday bandana. How about dressing your dog up with a special holiday-themed bandana. They are easy to make – Go to Instructions for a Dog Bandana to make your own.

11.Plan Something Special From Your Dog. A very sweet tradition for many pet owners is to do something nice for people that are nice to your dog. That may be send a special card or buy a small gift “from” the dogs.

12.A Little Eggnog. Maybe you can enjoy some wonderful holiday eggnog and you can treat your dog to some dog-approved ice cream. There are different manufactures of products such as “Tasty Paws”.

And don’t forget to put a little something from Santa for your dog under the tree or in his stocking.

(borrowed from a Cocker Spaniel forum I belong to – not sure of the original author, but if anybody knows, I’m happy to give credit!)

Yappy Holidays from the KLAD Cockers

Seriously????

So, roughly 7 weeks ago, Canada had an election for Prime Minister and ruling party (Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Bloc Quebecois, Green Party). Millions of dollars were spent just so Canadians could end up with another minority government, with the Conservatives in charge. No change, other than the Conservatives having a few more seats than they did prior to the election.

Now the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois have signed an agreement to form a coalition and overturn the Conservatives. Interestingly enough, Stephane Dion (Liberal leader) has been chosen to lead this new coalition, despite the fact that he had decided to step down as the leader of the Liberals after their election loss.

Seriously, can these people not just accept defeat and move on? Why are they pushing this issue now? I can’t believe it’s in anybody’s best interest for these three separate parties to attempt to work as a group – their values and ideals are not the same, hence the need for THREE parties. I know that many Canadians (and certainly many Albertans, who are primarily Conservative) are very upset with this turn of events.

But hey, what the hell do I know? I’m just some small voter, who exists to pay taxes and support these government follies.