Monday, December 31, 2012

Well, the new year is fast upon us!!

And, boy, am I glad to see 2013 end. It seems like it has been a rough year. Several friends have either died or been diagnosed with cancer. I turned 50. Not that it is a bad thing, but when you are this age I think it means friends get sick and die. At least, that is my assessment! I must accept it and move on. But, damn it is hard to do. Hard to stay positive in the midst of bad news. Is this what they call a "mid-life crisis"??

OK, not to dwell on the negative, there were a LOT of positives!! For 14 year old Roscoe is as strong as ever, in awesome health and he even got to play agility last week!!! I am going to make sure he gets out to play at class a little more. He sure enjoyed himself. Watch for yourself and watch his banking out of the yellow tunnel, crazy old man!!! Love it! We avoided the aframe and dogwalk because if he fell off those it could be bad. He did everything else.

One of my favorite gifts........a cool handmade ornament!!! -
We got tons of snow over the past week! Some photos!!

 Trimmed the hair on the paw on the right. Sure helped stop the snow balls!!!

 He wants to help herd!!

 My fence is shrinking fast!! :O

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My favorite Christmas gift!!

Well, actually there were quite a few favorites. The hat my friend Kathy made me. Yeah, make me something just for me and that is a favorite, for sure!! Or the book about crows. I am well into it and it is AWESOME!! Did you know crows have extra large brains! I mean, in proportion to their bodies, they have very large brains. They can learn language and songs!! The book is VERY interesting and giving me insight into an animal I never gave too much thought to.
But, seriously, one of my most favorite is this very cool ornament. It wasn't made just for me, so it isn't special like that, but it is SO cool!!! It is handmade, by someone, and I just think it is SO cool!!!

 My days of practicing agility in the yard, getting my exercise running Spur, are over. We got DUMPED on by snow. Nearly a foot and today, even more. Before dark I let the horses out to the pasture to "graze". They actually DO graze, they scratch away the snow to get to the grass below. I don't let them out there too much because really they can damage the grass by digging at it too much, but an hour or so here and there is a special treat for them. And then I locked them up for the night as it is supposed to dump another 6+ inches. Ugh. I used to like snow. Now it is just extra work and the old MinPins just can't get out to exercise. Roscoe wants to, but it is TOO cold and deep for him. We do tricks inside and I'll try to get him to the beach soon, where he can run.
 I clicked, timing was off, but it's still a cool shot............

 This morning's snow shoe produces snow packed and very cold feet for poor Spur. So, I tried trimming the hair between his toes. I did it on the paw on the right, then we headed out for another trip. I guess it worked!! The paw on the left still packed up even though I did use "Musher's Secret", a wax just for that purpose. I have used that in the past with no affect, but I thought I would try it again. I guess I need to do some more trimming! :D

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Warning!! Major vent!

Remember our bathroom re-do? Did I ever mention that here? Our original bathroom was never done well. We had no money back then and it was done as cheap as could be and now we are badly in need of doing it right. Not exactly something we are jumping to do, it is invasive, people, dirt, noise, and a lot of decisions needed to get going on it. But, ...................

............we FINALLY decided to just GO FOR IT and get it done. The old shower was FALLING apart, seriously.

We had plans made, decisions finalized as far as tile, electrical, plumbing, we were ready, we bought the lights, the tile, the vanity. We just needed someone to do it. I suggested we talk to this guy who did work at one of my mid-day dog walk client's homes. Over the years I have seen him do a bathroom (same thing we wanted, a tiled shower), a kitchen re-do and remove some walls and add some windows. All over a few years, this guy has worked for these people and they spoke highly of him. Obviously, they were happy, they continue to have him back. The jobs were all FAST, neat, beautiful jobs!! So, as he was finishing up the last job I asked if he needed some work and would he be interested in our project. I explained how I wanted pretty similar to this client's bathroom and he said to me, sure, but that he did have someone else do the glass work and that it wasn't that expensive. OK, cool! He also explained that he had someone else do the counter tops, which were beautiful marble. We were not doing that, we would buy a pre-made counter top/vanity, so no worries there.

He came and gave us a quote for the work, discussed all our needs and what the job entailed. We asked about the plumbing and did he need someone else to do that and he said no he would be fine doing that (heck, Rich can do plumbing, it isn't rocket science). We told him we already had an electrician and we would be using that guy instead for the wiring. We DO have a good electrician who has done work for us for years and did the addition wiring. Cool. All was cool. He gave us a quote, kind of on the high end, but I saw his work, it was neat and tidy and fast. I didn't want someone who would take forever and not do a good job. I really liked what he did at my client's.

Well.................about 3 days into the job he does something wrong. Not a major deal, but he doesn't frame a wall just right as I specifically said it should be done. That was odd, but no big deal in the grand scheme of things. the end of one day we realize he did the tile floor???? Huh? He had not even finished all the demo, let alone done any sheet rock work. I always thought flooring was the last thing to do???. But, OK, so he wanted to get that going now for whatever reason, again no big deal really in the grand scheme of things. Then he starts on the shower???? Huh? Again, wouldn't that be the last thing to do? We still have more demo and walls to be done???? Has an issue with the plumbing (a leak!!!!!) and nearly causes a major catastrophe, but thankfully it happened while he was here so he caught it and fixed it!!!Then we start noticing he is not neat with his tile cuts or the shower prep work. WHAT????? I mean, seriously, I am thinking are we being too picky??? No, we are not. I want this done RIGHT. This is NOT being done right. In fact, over these few days of Christmas break some of the tiles on the shower floor COME UP!! They did not secure!!! GOOD GRIEF!!!! That is KIND OF MAJORLY IMPORTANT!!!!

I could continue, but you get the idea. This project was WAY over this guy's head. So, he has Christmas off and arrives today and we talk with him. He admits it, way over his head. Um, OK, so what do we DO????? Basically, he decides he can't even fix it, it is really more than he can do. We are not even sure he did the base of the shower right. He takes up the floor today and we sent him packing. He admits to Rich that he did not actually DO the tiling at my client's house. WHAT??????? He told me all he did not do was the glass enclosure. Now he admits he didn't do the tile, the plumbing, the electrical, only the framing and finish work, sheet rock, etc. OMG!!!!! I am SO mad I could spit!!! I feel totally duped!!!!

We may be in for a major expensive fix here if we have to re-do the shower base. I am seriously pissed. Some other tile guys might not want to take on this project to finish it right. It is a serious mess!

We are just thankful that we have another full bathroom to use while this project is now at a complete stop!!! It has been 2 1/2 weeks, the time period he said it would likely be FINISHED!!! WHAT????? We still have demo on some wall sections, totally unfinished tile work on the shower, no sheet rock up. It is INSANE!!!!! I am PISSED!!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Old man Roscoe came out to play!!! :D

Hah, he is at least 14 years old and has been feeling really good lately. So, I decided to let him do some agility at class. I put the jumps at 8" and did not do the a-frame or dog walk. He tends to slam his up on the a-frame and if he fell off the DW that would NOT be good. OMG, he was having SO much fun!! Geez, watch him body slam into the tunnel his first time. Goodness, crazy little dude!!!! I think he had a GREAT time, though!!! Amazing little dog!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I have the best job!

From Fergie's family. I think Emily and Jeffrey are 7 & 8?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This will have to do

I never got it together to have Christmas cards made for my clients and referral people. So, I just did my best at a self portrait and sent it to CVS yesterday morning. This is the card. I used stick glue to attach it inside a regular card. Oh well, it was the best I could pull off this year.

 These are the "rejects".

I just can't seem to get anything much organized this year. Re-doing a bathroom is invasive and frustrating and I REALLY can't wait for it to be done. We won't even have a tree and probably will not get our garland up. I managed to bring up some decorations and made some arrangements, but that may be it this year. Heck, we probably won't have anyone over here anyway.

The weather isn't helping me any. I am wet by the end of the day walking dogs and my own haven't had a walk in four days. The Pin Heads are OK with that as they snuggle on the couch and by the woodstove, but little Spur is REARING to go! The horses have been locked in the barn for days, too. It just never stops raining!! I let them out Monday for about five hours, but they ended up soaking wet and I corralled them back in. They have been in ever since. Our windows have leaked, the barn is damp and moldy, I am NOT happy with endless rain. My best waterproof gloves are worn out, so my hands are getting soggy by the end of the day. Bitch, bitch, bitch!!! And little Miss Colby can not just go out and DO her business, she has to stand out there freezing and wet in her strange unhappy, disjointed way. We rescue her. And towel her and hug her dry by the woodstove. Ugh. She just is not a very happy dog these days.

I am longing for some sun, which in summer I would never say, but right now some sun would sure brighten my spirits. It has been days now with no sun and that isn't much fun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Still trying for those nice action shots. Still failing.

Now, these geese might actually be in fairly good focus, but since they are silhouetted, it is hard to tell.

 Timing is everything!

 Damn it, how cute would THAT one be if it were in focus?
 This one looks to be in the best focus. It really is about the timing.

 I was focusing on Roscoe, but Spur just HAD to butt in!!!!

I will keep trying.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I have had so much fun making winter arrangements!! The afternoons last week were so nice, so I just combed my woods/fields/gardens and made some really nice displays!!! Made one for our friend whose husband is sick. Made one for my sister who is going through some tough times. Made one for our front porch and could not resist an indoor one for our window!!!

Funny thing, this cat-n-nine tail must have been JUST about to burst it's seed, because the next morning this happened!!!
I thought it might burst out more as the days went by, but nope it has stayed just like this. 
 I was scolded for not having enough photos of Roscoe last week. Well, I tried, but so many were blurry. So, here are some in the awesome fall light of the little buggar doing his handstand on the woodpile!!! He is SO cute, he LOVES his handstand! He'll do it on anything!

Hah, Spur just could not resist joining in. He doesn't like Roscoe taking the spotlight!
 People always think Spur is a bigger dog. Roscoe is only 9lbs and side by side it shows how wee Spur really is. He is only 13lbs. He just looks bigger with that fur. Of course, Roscoe's tiny, skinny legs sure show what a wee little thing HE is. But, really his hears are probably the same size as Spur! Here he shows them in "flying nun" form! ;D

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oh, soon this scene will be gone? Damn it all!!!

I just LOVE the light this time of year. It just makes Spur's coat GLOW! Still struggling with getting certain focus with my camera. I have resigned to the fact that it is a $400 camera and what more can I expect? I guess I expected a little more since it SAYS it can handle motion shot!!???

 I know it is really a matter of timing, too, but seriously he wasn't moving THAT fast!!!
 Are you sick of Spur photos, yet? Too bad, I just think he is the most beautiful dog!!! Love, love, LOVE his tail!!!
 He sure doesn't have the greatest conformation. No neck, short, crooked front legs, but a nice long back and look at that TAIL!!!!
 The light just makes him glow!
 Hey LOOK!! Some action shots, nearly in focus!!!!! OMG!!!!

 Spur is so thankful the geese are still here. He LOVES to flush them from the field and is nearly a good send...........we say........"Spur!! GET EM, GET EM, GET EM!!!" and he is now looking for them, we point in the direction and he GOES!!! Sorry geese, but really it IS time to head south I think??
 The glow, but not in focus, damn it!
 OK, so even blurry, I love it! His mahogany looks like furry flickering flames!
 His feet are on fire!!! ;D
 Managed a shot of sweet Colby looking almost happy hunting rodents. Poor little thing is just not happy much these days. Going blind SUCKS. We ran some other test and all were negative. We just can't figure out what is wrong with her. I have figured out a way to brush her teeth that she tolerates better. One of those rubber finger brushes. She doesn't mind that so much!! Yay!! Now that she will only eat canned food her teeth are just horrible. She won't chew bones or anything hard any more, so keeping her teeth as clean as possible is essential.
We have cut out her morning walks. She is just miserable in the morning, so we leave her home. Sucks. But, we sure don't like dragging her along. In the afternoon she manages to pull herself together and seems to almost enjoy her walks. We actually took her for a woods hike Sunday. She did amazingly well, but I really can not say she had fun? Who has fun going blind? It all just sucks SO bad. She is the nicest little dog. Certainly not your typical, grumpy, protective MinPin. She has always had a stellar personality. As they should have, independent, but friendly. Unfortunately, most MinPins end up like Roscoe. Nasty little buggars. Colby is a perfect personality. Friendly with all people and dogs. It isn't fair she was dealt such a bad deal genetically. Her body has always had issues, her whole life. Certainly, the most expensive dog we have ever had. I hate that she isn't aging gracefully. Poor little thing................