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10 pounds down 32 pounds to go!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"I've got my head, I've lost my leopard!"

I'm sitting in my living room pretending it's ok to spend a day off dirty and emailing and calling it productive. The rain cancelled our official hike and my client never wants to do anything else but that doesn't mean I have to sit on my couch and google the directions to Glacier National Park like it's an effective use of my time. The other day I made a list of things I really want to do (also, not a very good use of my time) and one of those things is see some damn national parks. No, not because of Ken Burns because I don't have tv to watch that series but I did hear that he pointed out how non-local people call Acadia "Arcadia" which they totally do so rock on Ken Burns. I just want to see some cool nature, that's all, but googling directions at this stage is a little silly. I think I could have looked at a map and seen that it would take a damn long time to get there without actually knowing it's one day and 22 hours without stopping for snacks.

Most of the time my want list is really small, like have a clean house. But that's sort of a crappy dream, there has to be something bigger I want to do with my life than scrub floors so I'm trying to branch out. That being said, the house is pretty gross right now. Puppy has been finding bones in the woods (dear god let them not be human) and bringing them home and it's one thing when he has the comparatively sterile looking marrow bones from the butcher but random forest critter bones do not belong in my house, or on my couch and definitely not in the bed. Right now there is sort of a rotting smell in the kitchen and it is beyond disgusting and I'm sure it's one of those bones and I just can't find it. I keep burning incense and looking and looking and I can't find it and if it goes on for a full 7 days it might turn into a voodoo ritual. If I don't find it today I'm getting some holy water. Or moving.

I'm going to conduct another search and take a shower and inevitably get my incense burning. Maybe the spirit guides want me to go to Montana RIGHT NOW. It only takes one day and 22 hours if I bring snacks with me. And a catheter.

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Shhhh... you had me at balls."

We've run into some difficulties with our hour long walks, mostly that they always seem to end in 45 minutes...so we're playing catch for 15. You think Cesar would approve? In other news my legs are amazing from all this walking. Muscles hard as rocks! Roar! Dogs are gifts that keep on giving. We are picking up baby woof on saturday and is it weird that they demand cash and we're meeting in a parking lot? I'm sure it's fine, the lady passes google, but if I end up on an episode of cold case files and all they have are fat pictures it's going to suck. But anyway, yeah, puppy. According to the woof whisperer you're not supposed to show any affection when you meet, you have to let her come to you and sniff you and see your calm assertive leadership energy. I might need a medically induced coma for that. Who can not react to a puppy? serial killers that's who. This is going to be a very intense cold case files.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

He asked for a pony, he's getting a sister...

New puppy is coming in two weeks, on Knox's birthday. We still don't have a name but I have a list on the whiteboard. Matt wants to wait to meet her before we choose. I hope she comes with her resume. So I have until Oct. 3 to get our routine down pat. Today was day one of my new you, new dog(TM) program. We're starting with an hour of exercise in the morning because a tired doggie is an obedient doggie. We used to do a half hour twice a day but it's not enough so we're trying something new. It's tricky coming up with new longer routes that don't lead us into bear traps or other forms of sudden death, but we're trying. We usually go one of two ways at the top of our hill so today we went both ways which didn't exactly get us an hour. If we'd gone all the way to the bottom again and started over it would have been fine but also a little crazy so tomorrow I guess we just go farther on each end. If we do that every morning and afternoon he'll be good and pooped and so will I. Thus the exercise benefit of owning a dog. Once we add the new dog I'm hoping they'll both be comatose for the rough getting to know you stages. Pack naps are going to be the best part of being a two dog family.

The worst part of having a two dog family will be explaining to my dad why we got another dog before the first one was dead. He would never let us get two kittens at once, even though odds were in our favor that they'd play with each other and leave him alone. Instead he spends all day telling the cat to go away. He will not understand and he really won't want them in his house. This I get, I don't expect anyone to welcome dogs to their house whether or not they have their own but it makes holidays difficult. We'll probably be staying more with my sister which should be fine when all the puppies are socialized and relaxed. I'm also looking into a dog exercise pen. I really hated the idea at first and it is sort of pointless at our house but for traveling and visiting I think it'll be helpful. They'll be able to be outside and not leashed but safe and the kids will be safe too. For one dog it seemed a sort of expensive solution but for two it's more reasonable and I think they'll take to it better with a buddy. They can chew on each other and play with their toys. If they're tired out before hand it'll be a good way to spend a few hours in the afternoon while the kids play outside.

And now I have to cook and process 100 pumpkins. Not really, but I bought a few. Apparently the crappy summer has resulted in a pumpkin shortage and if I don't have a pumpkin pie this fall the earth will explode or something so I'm taking necessary measures. We have a ton of apples too. I have a lot of work today which I'm feeing more resolved to do than usual. Maybe the longer walk will make us both more obedient.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"you better look at my boobs when I'm talkin' about 'em"

My puppy is not tired. The old puppy, not the new puppy...I don't yet have any knowledge about her sleepiness but I can tell you with authority that the old puppy is NOT tired. Not quite like a toddler who is really tired and says their not tired even though they are...this puppy is genuinely awake. We went for a walk. And then a ride. And then another walk. AND then a hike. Usually a five mile hike tires him out but he's still perky and that would be why we're getting another puppy.

I've been trying to prepare myself for the new dog, in the way of buying her special small dog toys and reading every book by the dog whisperer. Matt and I decided long ago that we don't need the dog to heel all the time or learn to sit on a special mat so he doesn't touch the humans (a suggestion made by matt's brother) we just want him to respect our rules and live safely. He's not a bad dog and unless you look really hard you don't see how he pays no attention whatever if there's a road with interesting cars, or a person, or a dog. It's actually pretty easy to get his attention when he's sniffing out genuinely scary animals because he seems to have an interest in either being protected or protecting us but when it comes to a poodle on the other side of the road he's lost to this world. That is not ok so I have to get my shit together.

We got the dog when I was unemployed because I was unemployed and had plenty of time to work and be with him. Turns out I was incredible nervous and on edge that whole time what with the no money and it turns out the dog thinks I'm an unstable leader. Shocking! Apparently calling him a cuddle umpkins doesn't mask the fact that you're worried all the time about everything. So here I am practicing being a more relaxed in the moment Amy so my dog doesn't get hit by a car. From now on we're trying to only do things with him when he's calm submissive and that's when you start to realize you've been enabling behaviors since forever. We stood outside the petstore for almost ten minutes waiting for him to relax. It didn't actually work but we're going to keep at it. He still pulled me all over and you know, he doesn't have any money so it's important that I'm in a good mood or he doesn't get anything fun.

It's really, really hard. He's not a human, he's a dog. He only cares about taking walks, sniffing poop and making woofy friends. He's not worried about what I have to do when I get back to the house he just enjoys the hike...that's kind of a wonderful way to be.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not Larry!

My sister is waging a campaign to call the new puppy "larry" and it HAS to stop. So, I need a kickass name NOW. It may or may not be too late. This one time she started telling people I left egg nog under my bed until it became cheese and she said it so often that she convinced herself it was true, like I wouldn't have just drank the egg nog...it's preposterous. Which is sort of her modus operandi. If it's not amusing to her and her alone, it just isn't worth doing. Anyway, wow I need a name for this pup who isn't even here yet before she gets branded like the cable guy.

In the meantime, pictures of all the painting projects I've been working on. I should have taken a picture of my massive painting induced biceps but ooops, I forgot. Anyway, they start in the bathroom with the teal and the living room is called torchlight...a very golden yellow but you can't really tell from the light in the room when I took these pictures. I need a color for the hallway in between which sounds like an impossible mission. I'm going to go stand in the paint department and wait until inspiration hits me unless you guys have any better ideas. I didn't want grey but that might be the only choice...le sigh.




Friday, September 18, 2009

naturalist fail

When I used to run on the road sometimes I would see a car pull to the side and I'd pick up a rock just incase I had to hit a troublesome motorist over and over. Now apparently I have to carry rocks everywhere I go, or a gun, or get a donkey. Last night coyotes surrounded our house, just out of sight, and yipped at knox. Actually only one of them yipped, they prey on their shared canine instincts to investigate sounds and they were trying to lure him in. Fuckers.

Knox was freaking out and it took us a few minutes to hear the noise outside and realize why he was so upset. That happens a lot, he'll hear something and run to the door barking or bark at the woods when we're outside. At first we had assumed it could be anything but now we know he doesn't bark at squirrels and birds, he barks at bear smell and coyotes. Matt pointed out that they can hear just as well as he can and they know that we know that they know he's here. It was genuinely terrifying. I thought smelling bear track would be the worst thing to worry about but bears are afraid of people and coyotes aren't.

Apparently it's a big deal in LA and a lot of people are losing pets to coyotes, Ozzy and Jessica Simpson and I just watched a video of a terrier chasing off a coyote in a suburban backyard. Terriers kick some ass apparently. I suppose dealing with coyotes around so many people would be worse, here it's sort of expected. Animals will exist and we'll have to deal with them, I just don't like feeling singled out and hunted like that. I really, really didn't like it.

Sometimes when we're walking up back he'll get nervous and bark and I'll get nervous and start jogging, you feel like someone is watching you. After enough coyote/dog research I've learned that yes, they are watching us. They know our smell, our walking patterns and what times we're likely to be out. I'm worried about the dog and the chickens and the new puppy that isn't even here yet. I want to get a pit bull, and a llama and a donkey. Apparently coyotes hate donkeys and llamas, I don't know about pit bulls I just think I'd feel safer with a dog that didn't run away from bunny rabbits. Coyotes aren't supposed to prey on dogs as big as Knox, I'm afraid they can tell from his marking that he's a softie fur and that's why they're coming to the freaking house. In the meantime Matt has his gun and I'm gonna get an airhorn...and a donkey. The alternative is building a six foot plus undigable fence around 250 acres...I'm pretty sure a donkey is cheaper...or shooting all of them which seems harsher than the donkey and a bit futile since new ones will keep coming back. For now the poor dog will be on a leash ALL THE TIME. I have him on a leash now, tied to the couch while I type just incase coyotes know how to pick locks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

fiesta where?

The blue in the bathroom makes me feel like I'm in a fish bowl. It reminds me of fiestaware, very festive. I didn't think I'd like it but I really do. It totally makes me happy. Now I'm not sure what color to do the hallway. I have goldy yellow on one side and fishbowl blue on the other...it'll have to be a neutral as much as I'm loving the rainbow of flavors lately. Such tough decisions.

I sent Matt to work with his entire batch of cookies this week. He just told me all he wants to do is eat cookies and yup...that's pretty much why I sent them to work with you buddy. He told me he stood on the scale today fully dressed and weighed 140 pounds, with a cookie in his hand. He's the only person I know who tries to wear more clothes when being weighed. He needs those cookies, I don't.

Work has been obviously weird lately and I've been home a lot. Today I actually cooked myself lunch, with knives and vegetables and the whole shebang. It was kind of awesome. I've been so hungry with the painting all day. Apparently painting burns 500 something calories an hour. I'm not a supermodel yet but I am unbelievably tired...and very happy to be done with the bathroom. I had like fifteen cheese sticks today, painting fuel for sure.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Butterfly in shining armor"

I do not want to look back on my life and think my only accomplishment was making old people cry, but seriously, today sucked. My client is ridiculously frustrated with her life and most of the time I can muster at least some pity for how badly she feels about her situation but the times that slip in between most of the time and all of the time I am consumed by how little she thinks of her blessings. I am not usually a person who talks about blessings, I don't really think of myself as a spiritual person so maybe the word I should be using is gifts. She has had a gifted life. She overcame hardships, she lived through some difficult things but isn't that the point of living? She sees absolutely no point in living as long as she can't do everything she wants to do all the time. One thing she says frequently which really makes my blood boil, although not today, is about all the wounded soldiers coming home from the war...wouldn't it be better if they were killed. Well, uhm, no. Some people are grateful to have more time with their families, with their children...you know maybe.

A long time ago my client was on this Wuthering Heights kick so one day I played the Kate Bush song on the way to the grocery store. I played 15 whole seconds before she started singing in a mocking voice. She did a very similar thing today except she was mocking me directly and not just something I thought she might find even the slightest bit interesting to her. I don't usually take the time to explain to her that the things she does are inappropriate. It's largely pointless and I'm not her mother anyway, all I can hope for most of the time is that people know what she's like and aren't actively blaming me. I'm used to her baiting me into fruitless arguments but she pushed me beyond that today and I called her on it. And then I had to leave.

I'm supposed to go back tomorrow and it's another one of those days when I don't know if she'll open the door for me or try to throw a glass at me or if it will be perfectly fine because she was so drunk she won't remember. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"this never would have happened at Stanford"

I bought a rug yesterday. A pretty oriental type rug which reminds me of my mother. Every time I look at it I feel like I'm a kid sitting on our ugly ass ethan allen couch (it lasted for twenty years!) watching tv or playing nintendo. And then I painted the bathroom and it was supposed to be teal but it's really blue and it also reminds me of my mother. All of the rooms in our house were blue, are blue because my dad hasn't repainted. She could always tell the difference between the most identical shades of blue. She would have loved this blue, but I hate it. It's really sky blue and it's kind of freaking me out. Like it gets brighter as time passes...it's sucking the life out of us to make itself stronger. It's evil kryptonite style paint, DAMN YOU HOME DEPOT!

I have to go back tomorrow and get something more tealy. I'm really getting into this whole decorating thing. We haven't had a rug, ever. Or color on the walls. And I got these great baskets made out of recycled paper. They're amazing, I never thought I would be such a girl to get so excited about baskets. We really needed one for the vast amount of dog toys orphaned in the living room, the other one is just for vanity because I couldn't stand to leave it behind. I haven't decided what to use it for yet but it's going to be awesome because I decided that it would be in the TJ Maxx checkout line.

I actually do have a plan. I'm trying to mix new and old in a way that doesn't make me look bi-polar. So far it's going pretty well. Maybe not television re-decorating show well but I'm pleased and I can afford it so I'm double pleased. Paint is cheap, the baskets were cheap, the rug was fifty bucks and initially I left it at the store until I learned everything cheaper looked cheap and sometimes cost the same. Everything else was in storage, antiques and heirlooms, or just wasn't being used to advantage. When I actually finish putting everything in order I'll put up some pictures. The difference is kind of shocking, I can't believe I waited so long to do something with the house. Where's my hair shirt?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"they call me Mr. Pig!"

The second worst thing you can do when internetting, next to googling an otherwise harmless medical symptom, is to go to petfinder.com. I didn't even make that a link because then you would all adopt 700 cats and get a poor reputation with the neighborhood kids and be MAD at me. I look at petfinder alot. One might say, too much. Usually I do a quick collie search and when there aren't any compatible ones I go back to my knitting, or whatever. Lately I've had a bee in my bonnet about getting Knox a buddy. He does just fine on his own, I really have no complaints...I just think he'd like a friend. Someone to chew on and pounce on who isn't Matt. Someone who speaks his language. So pretty much a dog.

I've often regretted not adopting two when we took Knox home. Probably that would have been a disaster and Matt and I would have had to start sleeping in the garage but also SO MUCH FUN! Anyway, as I mentioned in the last post we found a puppy that is too cute for words. She looks like an ewok, or a gremlin, or a house elf (as Matt keeps telling me). The application was very long and I had pretty much assumed that we would never pass. The want for puppies over older dogs is so huge that I thought we'd be in a long, long line. It turns out there wasn't a line and our vet told them to give us whatever we wanted so...Puppy!



She is a brittany spaniel/sheltie mix from Louisiana. The "owner" took them to a kill shelter to have them gassed. His unspayed dog wasn't supposed to get pregnant, how dare she!, so he wanted them gone. There were only two, god knows what happened to their siblings. She'll be arriving sometime in October after a very long ride on the underground furry railroad. It all seems to have happened very quickly and now we wait. I'm excited and apprehensive. Two dogs won't be any more work than one, more money yes...but not more work. They need the same exercise and the same cuddles and the same attention from people (we looked at some olde english sheepdogs...adorable but not meant to socialize!) I'm sure they'll be best friends.

And now she needs a name. We discussed Knox's name in the car on the way home, with him in the backseat...puking. Knox is the name of the town he came from and a revolutionary general matt is fond of. In other words creative was not the adjective most appropriate to choosing his name. My first idea was Piper, but a friend of a friend's dog is Piper and Matt dislikes the association. The next is Winky, obvious for Harry Potter fans but I don't really feel it in my soul. River and Pixi are also on my list as compared to Knox she's going to be a baby. Please feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

"Technical term is narcissism."

I'm painting my living room. I'm pretty sure it's the most beautiful living room in the whole world. I didn't paint for the longest time because the white was fine and I'm lazy and I just didn't think it would make a difference. Oh, but it does make a difference. So I'm painting the bathroom too. And then I might re-paint the bedroom because I hate the pistachio ice cream color it's rocking right now. So, back to the living room and how awesome I feel looking at the walls. I should have realized the power of color but I just didn't because those years of art classes went in one ear and right out the other...apparently. Painting makes me feel like a grown-up. Or rather the feeling of decorating makes me feel like a grown up.

We're also looking at getting another puppy, which may or may not be grown up.



How cute is she? I know, right? She's supposed to be a lot smaller than Knox which would be helpful but also furry to keep warm and perky enough to keep up with the big dogs. We may or may not be approved for adoption, which adds a little suspense to the process. I might still use her picture on our christmas cards. A little elf had and she'll look just like dobby!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

"Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica."

Matt made me buy bread. Yummy, yummy portuguese bread. It's his favorite and it comes in these huge loaves and it's so good. I hate it. I've eaten three slices today and not because I was so hungry I just couldn't help myself. I couldn't help myself for a ton of other reasons, crappy fat girl reasons. He hates it from the freezer so I'm going to have to force feed him the rest of the loaf tonight. In his sleep. There's no other way to deal with the problem.

Actually I might have to because I want to paint the living room and his brain might break under the strain of another project. It might be more humane that way. I've been almost painting the living room and the bathroom for a while and I chicken out every time but lately I've been feeling like getting things done. Ambitious and all. I have the next three days off and I figure you can paint a lot in three days. Or the tiny living room of a one bedroom apartment. I don't know if I can help myself this time, I'm going to buy some paint supplies tomorrow unless he cries when I tell him.

And as a closer, what does one buy as a gift for a wedding where you have to bring your own food...and chairs? A toaster, an ashtray? You guys have any ideas. The gift is for a couple who has uncovered plywood floors in their trailer so crystal is probably not the way to go. Imagination required!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

"You can't fire me, I don't work in this van!"

Matt said it looked like we murdered someone and he was totally right, so I didn't take any pictures of tomato canning. We canned 20 pounds of tomatoes last night and it was very, very red. I spent all day washing and scrubbing tomato guts because we just couldn't face it last night. The cutting board is permanently pink and the stove has never been this clean so it's not all bad news. I don't remember canning tomatoes being that messy but maybe that's because my mom's kitchen is so much bigger. I ran out of bowls and counter space long before we started filling jars. I wanted to can some of the mint syrup I've been making too but the jars are all so ugly. Is that terribly vain? I was going to use them as christmas presents but it's the sort of thing that needs a lovely bottle and not a sad half full mason jar. I might have to keep looking for bottles because I have six more bundles of mint to use and no better way to preserve it. That stuff grows like a weed, a beautiful smelly weed.

My sister (Hi Em!) requested my blog address this morning and now I feel pressure to be interesting. She already knows exactly how dull my life is so there's no reason to stress, I'm sure the expectations for excitement are low. I always wonder how people cope with blogging when they know their loved ones are reading. Rebecca's mom reads her regularly and they have such adorable chats. My sister is a teacher so mostly I expect a treatise on my grammar. We'll have to set you up an account so you can comment on my spelling in real time!

A long while back I stopped running, one to keep the dog off the road and two to keep my knees from killing me slowly. I never thought I'd miss running, I only took it up because it was the fastest way to burn the most calories, but it turns out I really do miss it. I had a very short jog, considering where I left off, but it gave me such a great start to the day. We walk every morning but it's just not the same. This morning was cool and perfect and I ran about 25 minutes of our 30 minute "walk", it feels so good to come home hot and sweaty and accomplished. When I don't run I forget how good it feels and when I don't do pilates I remember how BAD it feels. I have to keep it all up to feel great, I just wish I could remember.