Monday, January 30, 2012

Mischievous Monday

Martha wanted to make an appearance on the blog today.

Because let's face it, cats qualify as mischievous just by being cats.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Muddy Sunday

With Koira's leg feeling better this past week, I have been slowly allowing her more activity. We are biking (at a slow trotting pace for her) about 10 minutes per day. She has been enjoying the activity I think, but it still isn't nearly enough to make a dent in all her pent up energy.

Today I went down to Goodwill to pick up some stuff, and took Koira into the store with me (the local Goodwill always allows dogs, but I double check every time I go there, asking before bringing her in). After a mentally exciting store adventure, I decided it would be safe for the dogs to go to the park for a few minutes. Both pups enjoyed themselves a lot, running around in the mud and sun. Koira had to have a thorough mud bath before we went home.

And, for those who have been asking about the breeds of my dogs- Want to have a go at guessing? Koira is the easy one, though her coloring throws people off often enough. Pallo, however, is like some kind of party game to try to guess his breed. Someday, I will send off to have him DNA tested. Until that day, your guess is as good as mine!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Flyball is all about the balls. (Not really, but this post is at least.) 

Most dogs use tennis balls

Some dogs like the small balls better. Pallo is a fan of the small balls.

 One dog on our team only uses Chuckit balls.

And some dogs need their special squishy balls.

Koira uses racquetballs (not pictured).

What we learn from this: Size and texture matter. And even color, sometimes.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Some flood pictures

You guys probably all know the park I go to regularly. It is a huge expanse of open, green fields where we are allowed to have dogs off leash, which are also sporting fields for baseball, softball, and soccer during the summer. Pictures like these are generally from this park:

Sure, the river runs along side the park as well, but you have to go down a side path and then down a steep slope to get to the water.

Right now, this is what the driveway to get to the parking lot looks like.

You can't tell quite how deep this is, since you've never been there, but this picture gives you a bit of a better idea.

That yellow with the red on it, that's a standard size gate. And there is still a few feet more of a drop before getting to the flat part of the fields after that. So, the place where those beautiful grassy pictures above were taken? Probably under at least 3 feet of water, if not significantly more.

And, this park is just a short way away from my house. I haven't been home again yet (a friend still in the area took these pictures and gave me permission to share them), but my neighbor across the street tells me the water didn't get closer than a block away, so hopefully I won't have any flood damage when I get home.

Recent reports say the water is going down significantly. The main road to my part of town was completely cut off as of last night, requiring a hour+ long detour to get to the south end of town from the north end of town (normally a 5 minute drive at most). Back in the flood of '96, the entire south part of town was cut off for three days. This time, the flood levels seem to be dropping much faster, thankfully. Last I heard is that while some minor roads are still closed in town, all the main roads are reconnected. Severe flooding remains in parts of the county.

As the flood recedes, we have received warnings of high winds with gusts of up to 50 mph. With the water saturated soil, these high winds have a greater chance of taking down trees, making the county issue warnings of potential power outages. They are recommending that people put in a stock of food and fresh water (1 gallon per person per day) that does not need cooking or refrigeration for up to five days. So far, no drinking water alerts have been issued for the city.

Hoping everyone still in the flood areas is staying safe.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Short post: Flooding

I decided earlier today to evacuate my house, and my sister generously offered to house me, the dogs, and my cat until the flooding clears. I'm glad I decided to leave when I did, as my house is now apparently cut off from the rest of the town, by flood waters that are at least partially sewer water.

Hoping everyone else in the flood zone is staying safe and dry.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


With Koira still all gimpy from her shoulder injury, we haven't been doing much in the way of park trips. Pallo has been getting a chance to run, but without Koira there, he would rather play ball.

But, I thought I would share some pictures from the park the other day, back before the limping.

Koira, wallowing in a mud puddle
I was actually deliberatly encouraging the muddiness, as one of my picture prompts for 52 weeks of pictures is mud. However, while the dogs certainly got muddy (Koira especially), I didn't end up getting any great pictures of it.

Anyone think they have a muddier dog than this? (Remember, her face is supposed to be mostly white and brown)

Pallo doesn't believe in mud wallowing. He does, however, believe in sun basking in the grass.

Koira's update is that so far, she doesn't seem to be any better. Not worse at all, but still limping heavily and putting very little weight, if any, on that leg. She hasn't yelped in pain from trying to use it since she was put on a course of anti-inflammatories, though, which is good. Here's hoping she shows some improvement.

Oh, and if you haven't noticed the new extra link at the top of the page, check it out. I have some collars that I made up for the craft fairs leading up to Christmas, and have some ready made collars left over.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Not exactly a wordless Wednesday

Poor Koira hurt herself at the park. The vet this morning believe it to be a soft tissue injury, likely a pulled muscle in her shoulder or upper leg. So, Koira is on crate/leash rest for at least two weeks, along with twice daily rimadyl. If she isn't improving in a week, we will be getting an ultrasound done to check out her tendons. Hopefully she will be getting better by then, making it a non issue. I'm going to try to get in to see the chiroprator with her, since it won't hurt to get an adjustment and might end up helping.

At the park, about five minutes before the limping.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

So, here's the menu plan for the week. I did make one last week, but never got around to posting it up. I'm not going to plan every single meal, since almost every meal ends up making enough for an extra meal or two. If not stated, breakfast is cereal or premade breakfast from the freezer

Lunch: Roasted cauliflower, squash, and beets with tomatoes and cheese melted over the top
Dinner: Crock pot chicken with black beans, corn, and tomatoes

Breakfast: French toast and sausage (and make enough for the freezer as well)
Lunch: Leftover crockpot chicken
Dinner: Baked beans and smoked sausage with spinach

Lunch: Curry roasted cauliflower
Dinner: Borscht from the crock pot

Lunch: Leftover borscht
Dinner: Sausage, leek, apple, and potato, roasted

Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Quiche with mushrooms and sausage

Leftovers from the week or freezer meals

Dog's meal plan

Monday: Rabbit
Tuesday: Elk scrap
Wednesday: Elk scrap
Thursday: Chicken quarters
Friday: Elk scrap
Saturday: Rabbit
Sunday: Pork roast

For more menu planning ideas, visit I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Today, I took off for the mountains with the dogs and my mom. She is taking off to warmer climates soon and we decided to take a trip to the snow before she leaves to celebrate my birthday, since she will be gone for it.

My mom packed up the car with the cross country skis, the snowshoes, and a sled, picked up me and the dogs, and then we headed into the mountains to look for some snow. We figured we would choose our sport based on the conditions we found up there- lots off loose snow for snowshoeing, nice hills for sledding, or moderate snow with little/no hills for cross country skiing. It was a relatively last minute decision on my part to take along the gang lines, waist belt, and harnesses for the dogs. But I ended up being so glad I did!

The snow wasn't deep enough for snow shoeing and we didn't find any good slopes for sledding, but it was great condition for cross country skiing. And, I figured why not, might as well hook the dogs up and see how they go.

* ETA: This is the first time I have ever taken the dogs skijoring. 

They went great!

Me and my mom actually started off taking one dog each. Both dogs were a little hesitant about the whole thing, Pallo a little more so than Koira. We did a short little run like that, then realized we had forgotten the water bottle at the car, and the spare batteries for the camera, so we headed back. At that point, I hooked up with both dogs. They seemed to settle in to pulling really easily, happily leaning into their harnesses.

Of course, being only a moderate skier at best, it did get a bit interesting at times (like when the squirrel took off across the trail right in front of us). My back up plan for anything going seriously wrong was to simply sit down- even together, my dogs don't have the power to pull me along for very far if I don't want to go. But luckily for me (and rather surprisingly), both dogs worked their commands really well. Koira has some gee/haw training which helped a little, but most useful were the "whoa" (come to a stop) and "easy" (go slow, don't pull too hard) commands. Koira stopped great every time with the "whoa" except the squirrel, though she did stop after a few seconds even then. And of course, their "let's go" worked wonders to get them started off and encourage more speed once going.

After a while on the main trail (which was actually just the snow covered road), we decided to venture off to the side when we saw some old ski tracks leading into the woods. It was harder in there, and Pallo especially became pretty distracted, but overall it was a lot of fun to go true cross country.

At the end of the day, we spent over two hours in skis. Skijoring was so much easier on me than cross country skiing minus the dogs, and way more fun as well. I had a total blast, only fell once all day (which has to be a record for me on skis), and I plan to get back out there again as much as possible this winter.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's a New Year

I have a few goals for 2012, which I thought I would share as much to share them as to have a place with them written down, for me to look back on next year to see how far we have come.

Goals for both dogs:

Complete a 52 weeks photo project (more on this later)
Earn both dogs' CA titles (coursing ability, they each need one more Q to achieve it)

Koira's Goals:

Earn Koira's CGC
Earn Koira's Rally Novice title (or at least, give it a good try)
Try out AKC obedience with Koira
Earn Koira's FDCh-G title (Flyball Dog Champion Gold, which she needs just under 1000 points for)
Train Koira's flyball box turn to the point where it stays consistent and four feet, even without the jump board.
Do a Pinups With Pitbulls photo shoot and submit a photo for the calendar.

Pallo's Goals:

Train Pallo's attention while heeling to the point of entering rally novice

Get Pallo's flyball times back down to the 5.0-5.3's he did before the ball retraining, while having him still carry his ball the whole way back
Put together a Freestyle routine with Pallo

Make a dent in the 5,000 points needed to achieve the FMX title (Flyball Master Excellent)

Personal Goals:


Make a baby quilt for my friend who is due in March
Make up a stock of dog collars, and attend at least 2 craft fairs
Finish my Renaissance dress
Complete Pallo's new crate before our next show
Get back into felting
Make a cave-style dog bed for Koira (and hope she actually uses it)

Menu Planning:

Plan a menu every week, with shopping list
Make and freeze extras for ready-made meals

Other goals:

Go back and edit my NaNoWriMo work
Complete the Couch to 5k program
Renew my passport