Thursday, July 31, 2008
Mark is taking a week off with me so I'm very excited about that. Ordinarily, he can't take that much time off with me but, given that there is a holiday on Monday and we have to go out of town one other day, we just thought that he may as well take the whole week off so, yay! A week off for him and two weeks off for me.
One of the things we'll be doing during our vacation is going to the passport office in Whitby. A friend of ours is going on a course in Florida for a month (in September) so he needs to get a passport and we offered to run his application up there. From all I've heard, it's much faster to get it done there than it is to do it in Ottawa. We thought we'd get ours done at the same time because neither of us has a valid passport and it looks like we'll be needing one next year if we want to do any cross border shopping (thanks to that asshat Bush).
We have a couple of other little day trips planned but other than that, not much else. I'm kind of glad. I think we can both just use a break to chill out around town, hang out with Sam and just enjoy the summer weather while it lasts.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
He's visiting my Aunt & Uncle (his grandparents) here in Ontario. Austin lives with his mum in Alberta and, until last September, my Aunt & Uncle lived there too. I can't imagine what a huge adjustment it was for them all to be so far away from each other. It also explains why I haven't met Austin before. I think the last time I saw his mum was in 1997 when my grandmother died.
When we saw Austin, my mum grabbed him for a hug (she's met him several times on visits out west). I introduced myself and shook his hand. I think he was a little surprised (he seemed braced for another hug) but was cool with that. After a while, we deserted the "grown ups" and went down to the basement to play a game on the computer.
I'm not sure if this is your experience or not but I kind of like how, even at the ripe old age of 41, I can still hang at the kids table.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
It was a much smaller shower than the last one I'd been to and that was okay with me. Games were kept to a minimum, the food was tasty and everyone was very friendly and sweet. Just like you'd expect from us!! Interestingly, it was my cousin Pat's daughter first time at an "all-girl party." She's about 4 I think and seemed to be enjoying herself and was super well behaved for someone so young.
Of course, going out of town on Saturday sort of threw a hole into the weekend and a lot of stuff I try to get out of the way early in the weekend had to be postponed until Sunday. We still managed to get Sam out to the park a few times (in between errands and rain showers) and got a shitload of stuff accomplished around the house. I'm constantly amused at how much more stuff you can get done when you're forced to do it in a shorter period of time.
So for now, at least, the yard looks good. We're on vacation next week and I suspect that we'll be back out there puttering some more but in the meantime, I'm trying to get my desk cleaned off and to not look at the clock too much.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The downside is that it seems to rain when we're home and it's clear when we're working. This means that our lawn goes uncut and the weeds are literally (I'm so not joking) taking over the lawn. Mostly they have taken over the front (flowerless) flower bed and have filled that tiny crack which exists between the house and the driveway. It's quite white trash looking actually. It sort of gives our house the illusion of being run down (it's not) and I'm sure detracts any ne'er do wells from breaking in and stealing our stuff (tv).
Last night, as soon as we got home, the heavens opened up and it poured like nobody's business. This sort of washed out our plans to go back to the dog park. Fortunately, about 45 minutes before the park closed (yeah, it closes at 6 pm - handy huh?) the rain stopped and we practically ran to the park. It was awesome. The ball diamonds were flooded so the muddy water squished up through the gravel when you stepped on it. Giant puddles were everywhere. Sam loved it. Water, mud, a giant hole in the ground, puddles. Doggie heaven!
Mark and I tossed a Frisbee back and forth in an effort to engage Sam in some sort of game. He's a funny dude, if you throw a ball, he'll chase it and find it and grab it with his mouth. Once he has the ball, one of two things will happen: 1. He’ll drop it back where it landed and run back to you or 2. He'll sit down and play with the ball. In either case, returning the ball to us is not yet in his bag of tricks.
A very cool dog, Cooper, arrived at the park at the same time we did. Cooper's owner threw a ball and Cooper would fetch it. Sam started running back and forth with Cooper but wouldn't try to get the ball (which was probably good). It's just so strange, he loves running around but we can't get him to fetch.
No matter what though, he loves the park. It's good for him to get out there and run around and it's good for us too. Inevitably we end running around with him so it’s like family fun cardio time. The rain has now finally stopped here. Hopefully this means we’ll be able to go to the park tonight and not have to deal with lotsa mud!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Because it was so humid and rainy on Monday the mosquitoes were terrible. After the rain, the breeze disappeared. We were trying to keep Sam in the shady part of the fenced off area and the bugs were thick under the trees. Mark and I endured being chewed alive for a while but when this big bitch named Mia started going nuts on Sam and on us, we decided to leave. It was odd actually, around the time when Mia arrived with her humans, I asked Mark, "Can you smell alcohol?" There was a very very strong smell of it, like it smells when it's coming from a person's pores (I know that's sort of gross but that's what it was). There was an older gentleman (probably in his 70's and a young woman (looked like late 20's to me) with this dog and I got a sense that the smell was coming from him.
They let their dog off the leash and she was chasing some other dogs who were closer to her in size. At first I thought, "how cool, they are really running hard." It didn't take me long to realize though, that she was chasing them in an "assertive" fashion. Sam had been off playing with some smaller dogs and had made his way over to me. For whatever reason, Mia got tired of chasing these other dogs and come toward Mark and I. Now, while this was going on, a very cool dog named Cassie was sharing Sam's water with him. Mia made a move toward us and Sam barked at her, just a little "hey back away from my human" sort of thing. Mia really didn't like this because she got very vicious and wouldn't move away, kept barking at Sam. She was actually so loud (of course by this time Sam starts barking) that a guy in the condo across street hollared at them to shut up.
Mia's owner was all "hey it's alright" to us and "you be good or we're going home" to Mia. Really, he should have put the leash on her and left. He didn't though so we did. After that episode, I think we'll wait until at least the ground dries up before we return the park. It was quite the doggie drama.
Last night, we went back to the dog park near our house. It's pretty open and doesn't have any shade but last night, it didn't have any other dogs either. Part of what is good about Lake Ontario Park is that Sam can hang out with other dogs. He doesn't really run as much when they are there though, he plays but doesn't run like he does at the M Centre. Last night, he ran his little guts out.
It's very interesting, all of this dog park stuff. I just hope that they give the go-ahead to the pilot project so that things can get settled and be permanent. It's a little embarassing that a city the size of Kingston doesn't actually have a permanent leash-off area yet.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Over the weekend, I was offline for about 36 hours while my computer had it's operating system rebuilt. It's up and running really well now thanks to Mark.
Mostly, it's been hot here. Humid too. It's not the kind of weather that inspires me to do much but laze around in a shady or cool spot and drink water or eat freezies.
We have been keeping busy though and having lots of fun with Sam. He's now at the point with his obedience training where he can go out in the front yard without his leash on. This is huge. We can open the car door and know that he's not going to run away. Most likely, he'll be on the porch, waiting patiently for us to open the front door if he does get out of our line of vision.
Over the weekend, we visited (or tried to visit) 3 of the off-leash dog parks that the city has opened as part of a pilot project. One of the parks is near our house so we went over there on Saturday morning. We'd been out doing errands and Sam was along for the ride. He was super well behaved so we thought it would be a nice treat for him to have a big run at the park. The park near our house is not snow fenced like some of the parks (the park has chain-link fencing around the perimeter because it's used for the town fair in the fall but the dog zone is not fenced off). It's also not shady and there is no water available. Now we did have our own water but it didn't take long for all three of us to have had too much of the hot sun. Sam had a ball, running back and forth between us as we walked around the park.
Yesterday, we went to one of the better organized parks. It's got a snow fenced/gates zone for the dogs, lots of parking for vehicles and a water supply (not to mention washroom facilities for people). We met some cool people and Sam met a lot of dogs. He didn't run around as much as he did on Saturday because he was getting to know the dogs. He stayed pretty close to where we were but seemed to really enjoyed being with the other dogs. Some of them were puppies from what I could tell. There were some really small dogs and some huge ones and they all got along okay.
Tonight, we're planning to go back on our way home from work. It's nice for Sam to be out with the other dogs and it's nice for us to be outside near the lake shore to catch a breeze!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
How's your Tuesday going so far? I'm having a good day at work, getting stuff done, learning some cool things and just generally not minding being here. Not minding being at the office is pretty important, wouldn't you agree?
Tonight we have lesson 4 out of 8 in our obedience training course with Sam. On the weekend, we bought an agility course kit for the back yard and we're going to set that up after the lawn is cut. I think that Sam will be able to do all of the stunts on the course. I'm particularly looking forward to him doing the high jump. He can jump really high, particularly if there is a treat (or the promise of a treat) involved. It's also got a stop watch and an award ribbon so, no matter what happens, Sam will win!!
Monday, July 14, 2008
I started off the weekend spending a couple of hours with a group of women who I absolultely love. We laughed so hard that I thought I'd pee myself a couple of times!! It was crazy amounts of fun and I hope that we will get together and do it more often.
The rest of the weekend was spent with Mark and Sam. We had a lazy, fun, laugh-filled weekend. As I'd hoped, there were naps and generally being very relaxed amongst doing a couple of errands (in the rain) and getting chores done early on Saturday.
This morning I did feel energized and ready to face the week which is how we all should feel (but seldom do) after the weekend.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Last night, I suggested to Mark that this weekend, we do much napping. Napping and doing nothing. I just want to veg out and do as little as I can get away with.
I don't feel well rested right now, I haven't all week actually. Neither of us has slept well and I am going to blame the weather but I think that we're still getting over feeling shitty last week. Apparently, the other night I was dreaming and I was talking and wimpering in my sleep. At one point, I grabbed onto Mark's arm and woke him up. I have no recollection of this but I have a vague rememberance of some strange dreams.
Hopefully, getting rested up and watching season 2 of my new favourite show (Kathy Griffin's "my life on the d-list") will allow me to recharge my batteries and stop crying in my sleep!!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Other than just getting caught up again after my vacation, there's not much news to report. Yesterday, Sam did not chew up any more of my sofa so that's always a good thing. Last night, while I was doing some shopping, Mark took Sam to a soccer field to run around on. He let him off the leash and Sam ran the length of the field, back and forth, 2 or 3 times until some other dogs came along. He had a great time apparently - which doesn't surprise me. I've noticed that he's much better about new dogs and people lately and I also know that part of this is just maturity and being socialized more and more. I can't help but feel ridiculously proud of him though, he's made a tonne of progress in the almost 4 months since we've had him. I know he's "just" a dog but he's one of the coolest folks I know!!
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Mark is amazing with Sam. He's really patient and Sam's learning so much. I've noticed a huge change in his behavior since we started the lessons.
Having said that, we did arrive home tonight (to pick up Sam) to find that he had partially disemboweled another sofa cushion. Eventually, I know that I'll need to get a new sofa and most likely, when that happens, Sam will either have grown out of the puppy eating furniture phase, or he'll be spending his days in the kitchen. Either way, I'm not even thinking about new living room furniture until we're well past his 2nd birthday. I can live with things wrapped in sheets generally looking misshapen until then if I have to!!
Monday, July 07, 2008
I guess because of the holiday last week, my voice mail box and email inbox weren't over flowing (which is nice). Fortunately, I had my shit together enough before I went off on break to make myself a schedule for the next four weeks. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered it this morning (rather than feeling stupid for completely forgetting that I'd done it).
One big thing that I hadn't factored though were a couple of moves that I'll be helping with this week. Two of the amazing women I work with have recently received promotions (absolutely well deserved) so they will be moving back into the central office from out here "in the colonies." It's a bitter sweet thing. I'll still be working indirectly with them but it won't be quite the same as it has been. It'll also mean some new folks to get used to. I don't mind that but it is a little scary when I think about the terrific balance we have on our current team.
I guess because the environment I work in is ever changing, the change doesn't bother me like it used to. I try very hard to just go with the flow and keep a good attitude about it all. It's not a Pollyanna thing, and I'm not being an ostrich, I have just learned that the changes are usually good in the long run so why fight it? Also, it keeps things from getting boring which is also, always good.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Mark and I got up sort of early and got out and did errands before it got too busy. While we were out, we decided to pack a lunch and head for the park and maybe buy some strawberries while we were in the country.
Fortunately for us, the park was quiet and we found a nice shady spot by the water for our picnic. Sam really enjoyed the park and there weren't too many other dogs around for him to bark at!! After lunch, we took off to Wynn's Farm for berries. They are amazing this year. Very tiny but delicious. We dropped some off at my mum's house on our way back into town. When you find berries that good, it's bad karma not to share!
It was kind of nice to get outside and away from the neighbourhood. The musical ride is at the fair grounds up the street from us so it's kind of noisy around here right now. The horses are nice to see and the RCMP always look spiffy in their dress uniforms but boy howdy it's loud!!
Friday, July 04, 2008
Luckily (or unluckily - depending upon how you look at it) I've been home from work this week on a few day's vacation. Unfortunately, I've not gone very far from home because of the back thing. First part of the week was spent nursing sick Mark and sick Sam and then this happens to me. So the week's been quiet, I have had a lot of rest which I probably needed. I've also had time to just hang out with Sam.
I have not had time to ride my new bike yet but I'm hoping that over the weekend I'll loosen up and feel better and be able to get out on it.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Sam's on some meds and Mark is not feeling well at all (some kind of horrible stomach flu) so we've stuck around the house all day. Sam had X-Rays and while he doesn't have a blockage, there was some concern that he may have injured his insides so he's on some antacids and anti-biotics. He's really bounced back since his visit to the vet. He also starting shedding today. We read about how Eskies will "blow their coat" but I wasn't prepared for this. I'm pulling hair off by the hand full and he's looking really skinny and scraggly. Fortunately for me, he loves to be brushed so we've been spending a lot time together today, just brushing and raking it away.
We were thinking about going to the fireworks tonight but instead, I think we'll be going to bed early and hoping that everyone is back to feeling 100% tomorrow.