Once the holidays are over and life can resume a normal schedule again I would like to concentrate on goal setting. I have never been good at it. I work on this and work towards general goals of moving up or doing better and practicing what we are not good at. But I’m terrible about setting small goals and being disciplined on working on things consistently. So my goal is to set goals each week for training and daily for other things like health and exercise. I’m hoping that these will lead to habits of better eating and exercising and consistent dog training. To start my goals with diet and exercise will be simple – drink 1 glass of water every day and exercise at least 4 times a week. And I’d like to have one skill in obedience and one skill in agility to focus on for each dog each week.
I am also taking the year off from Schutzhund to focus on agility and do some obedience and maybe some rally on the side. That will also give me my Saturdays back so I can be at home to train more and to work on the house to get it in order physically as well as get the dogs managed better. They are better but we still have a ways to go. I’m also going to take a break from agility classes over the summer so I can train more dogs at home. We’ll do privates here and there with Terry to help me and Karl out. I’ll keep the dogs in obedience classes at Total Recall as it’s good for them to work on the skills with the other dogs around. I enjoy the calmness of obedience. It’s a nice break and it’s nice to see the dogs thinking and being calmer.
Merry Christmas! I’m looking forward to the new year already!
Alot going on this month but not much new. Christmas will be here in 2 days. Tomorrow we go out to my mom’s for Christmas Eve if the snow does not trap us at home. They are predicting 12-20″ over the next few days. So we may have to adjust our holiday plans.
Glee and Lie to Me are over for the season. I will miss them but it is nice to get the time back and not have to worry about making sure I watch them. Dollhouse just crammed 6 episodes into 3 Fridays. But they have 3 more episodes left in January until the series finale.
My Database Design & SQL class at HTC is finished. I earned an A in that class. My next class is TransactSQL at the Eden Prairie campus but I get a few weeks off til it starts. I’m looking forward to it. We will be learning SQL 2008 and I’m hoping it’ll apply to things at work.
We have no obedience or agility classes this week or next. Vada missed an agility class this month since it was snowing and traffic was bad. And Seven and Copper missed an obedience class since I had to work last week that night. I have been able to do open ring time at On the Run in Ham Lake a few times. It’s been great and I hope it’s offered in January. Narc starts Super Puppy at Total Recall next month and Vada starts an agility class at On the Run next month too. I’m not sure if I’ll do 1 or 2 sessions there. Just enough to get us to spring so I can start training outside again. It’s only 30 minutes from the house!
I worked all weekend 2 weekends ago and squeezed in the MAC banquet. It was a big project at work and nice to get it done before the end of the year. The MAC banquet was nice. Our awards gifts were nice PicnicTime folding chairs that have the MAC logo and our dogs names and titles earned in 2009 embroidered on the back.
Tonight I am wrapping presents and making grape salad. I think I did ok on presents this year. Karl and I got good gifts for our families. I did not decorate at all this year. I’m kind of sad about that but there has been so much other stuff going on that I don’t really regret it. Next year!
On Thursday, December 17th my grandma, Elizabeth Tauer, passed away. She had not been doing well since a week or two before Thanksgiving. She would start to make progress and then get sick again. She felt she had lived a full life and she was proud of her family and felt loved by everyone. She was ready to go home to heaven to be with my grandpa again.
Monday night was the viewing. There was a group that prayed rosary for her at 5:30pm. Then at 7pm there was a prayer service lead by the pastor. He also asked people to share memories of Grandma. It was fun to hear them.
Tuesday was the funeral. Dressing up is a chore since I don’t do it often and need to lose quite a bit a weight. I was feeling ok til I had to find nice clothes that fit! But I was able to find a nice outfit that wasn’t too uncomfortable. Karl dressed up too and looked very nice. Very handsome! We both realized we need to do some clothes shopping in the near future. I was really nervous about the funeral since they are usually so sad. But Grandma’s funeral wasn’t too bad. It was mostly a celebration of her life and the wonderful woman she was and how happy she was go to home to heaven.
On Monday night my Aunt Carol told me that they had just been out to visit Grandma a few days before she passed away. She was having a good day. And she commented to them on my Christmas card. I was wondering if she had a chance to see it. So I was so happy to hear that she did. I thanked Carol for telling me that as it meant alot to me.
After the funeral we went to my Grandma’s apartment and I picked out a memento. I found 2 butterfly statues to bring home. Butterflies are a sign of renewed life and are the symbol for Lupus so it was very fitting. Grandma started her new life with God and Grandpa last week.
It was alot of driving and some of the roads were not the best as we got a bit of snow. But Karl did all of the driving and everyone was safe.
Grandma was an amazing woman. We spent time with her when we were young and mom would need a break for a week. It seems that lots of our cousins did so and we all shared alot of the same memories. It was fun to hear their stories as it brought back memories of my own. Probably the best memory I have is that when I was a teen and getting in trouble, I got sent to a correctional facility/camp for skipping school. My grandma sent me letters and books to read. She was still proud of me and still loved me even though I was pretty lost at that point in my life and not making good choices. That did not matter to her. Her love was unconditional. She also always sent out birthday cards and she hand wrote notes in them about how proud she was of us. She passed that on to my mom too.
I was able to attend Cynosports in Phoenix AZ in November this year. What a great time it was! They had a flyball tournament going on, dock diving, an modified lure coursing game, disc dog training, herding demos and tests and the USDAA Nationals. It was fun to see all of the events. The Course-A-Lure was fun to watch as the dogs had such a blast! But the main event that got my attention was the agility trial.
I was able to play the live streaming of the USDAA show on my computer during class on Thursday and Friday morning. Then on Friday we were let out of class a bit early so I was able to drive up to Scottsdale. The first dog I saw when I got there was a Dutch Shepherd who came with his owner to check out all the events.
It was fun to see the event. I thought Nationals would be alot scarier but it was just like a local trial with more big name handlers then we usually have. I would like to go again next year to watch. I’d eventually like to trail there with Vada. Maybe not for 2010 but for 2011 maybe.
Watching the finals after dark in the stadium was really neat. The crowd really got into it. Just like any other mainstream sporting event. The level of training and handling that I witnessed in the final runs were amazing! It cooled off alot as the week went on so the dogs had great weather to run in and no one had to worry about them overheating.
At the beginning of November I went to a week long NetApp training class in Phoenix AZ. NetApp is the software that runs on our SAN. I’ve worked with it a bit so it was nice to get alot more training. All of the classes they offered were out of town. And not really any places that I wanted to go. Then I had an idea. Cynosports is in Scottsdale. Turns out that Scottsdale is not too far from Phoenix. There are NetApp classes in Phoenix. And they happened to be the week of and the week after Cynosports. It worked out perfectly.
Sunday after the Tracy seminar I flew out. My flight was on time. Even got there early. I stayed at a Hampton Inn. It was really nice. It was a big room. It had a chair with a foot rest. A fridge, a microwave and a sink. A nice big TV. And the comforter on the bed was so nice and fluffy and white. There was a pool outside my room. The treadmill in the exercise room was not very comfortable though. The weather there was so nice. It was in the 90s when I got there. It cooled off by the end of the week though. But the sun was out almost all the time. The class was pretty good. All of the students were from out of state. The flight home left on time and arrived early too. It was nice to be in sunny warm AZ for a few days. But I would not like to live there.
Tracy did another seminar in Honey Creek IA at Christy’s place for 4 days at the beginning of November. Monday was the last day of the Susan Salo seminar. Tuesday I went to work and then went to agility class at 9pm. So home about 11pm. I figured I would get up early, like 3am, to do the 5 hour drive to Honey Creek. Well, the drive is actually more like 6 1/2 hours! I should have checked earlier! The seminar started at 9am. I was not working on Wednesday but I hated missing any of the lecture and everything Tracy has to say is worth hearing. As I was driving through Ramsey in the wee hours of the morning a herd of deer ran in front of my van. I hit the breaks and thought I was ok but they kept coming and one ran into my fender. I was so worried that she got hurt. I pulled over and looked around to see if she was in the ditch or standing somewhere hurt. But I did not see her anywhere. My van got a ding in it. No big deal. On the drive to IA there were so many deer carcasses on the highway. The highway workers just shovel their mangled bodies off to the ditch. It was very sad. I eventually made it to Christy’s but I was a few hours late.
Wednesday was skills day for baby baby dogs. Even though I was late I still got lots of good notes.
Thursday was Open Handling day. I had a working spot with Vada. We had fun. Lots to work on but we are making progress. I am understanding the system better. I was able to get a few runs video taped. Not the last one which was awesome and earned me the praise of “bitch!”. 🙂 I should find that tape and watch the runs. It’ll be nice to remember what agility on grass looks like too.
Friday was Masters Handling day. They did European style courses. It looked like alot of fun. The morning courses were hard and everyone aced them. In the afternoon they worked on rear crosses and everyone had alot of trouble with them. Next time I will register for Masters. I left it up to Christy on where to put me this time but she thought I should be in Masters. 🙂
Saturday was Graduate Skills. I had a working spot with Seven. I think he enjoyed it. We have issues to work on. He was brilliant on some of the exercises too. There were only 2 of us that were not on contact equipment yet. I felt a little behind til I saw everyone demonstrate their contact skills. So we’re still on the board and I’ve got lots of exercises to work on. I just need to kick myself in the butt and get working on them. Not sure what my mental block is but I’ve been working on them for years now. And I enjoy trialing Seven and could enter more classes with him if I’d just got his contacts done.
Christy is a great host. She has a nice house, barn and yard. We can work inside or outside depending on what we are doing and what the weather is like. She makes great lunches. And she has a mowed walking path around her property.
I stayed at a Motel 6 in Council Bluffs. It was ok. Very small room. Good customer service. I brought Seven’s crate in the room in case he got snarky with Copper. But they were all very good and got to sleep out on the bed with me all 3 nights. Next time I will drive out the day before and stay in a hotel or camp.
I left after the seminar on Saturday. I was really worried about deer on the way home but there were none. I was very lucky!
I went to bed after I got home. Got up the next morning and Karl drove me to the airport to fly out to Phoenix.
I can’t wait til spring when Tracy comes out to Christy’s again!
We had a very nice Thanksgiving this year. We were going to go out to my mom’s but she was busy with my grandma being in the hospital so we stayed home for the day and cooked our own Thanksgiving turkey. It was a great day. I think that staying home on Thanksgiving day will be our new tradition. It was so nice to sleep in and be in pjs all day and let the dogs be out all day. After dinner we went to see a movie, the Blind Side. It was an awesome movie! Then we went to Perkins for a fudge brownie sundae. Yum!
Friday I stayed home all day and Karl went to work. He’s working on some big projects at work and welcomed the quiet day to get alot done without getting interrupted. I spent the day painting. I got the remaining 3 walls in the bedroom painted. I also finished sanding and mudding the sheetrock in there and primiered it. It looks very nice. Still have to paint the ceiling (which I was hoping to avoid since it’s a TALL ceiling) and put border up. Then Karl can put down the laminate. We’ll put the headboard back together and the room will be done. Only took a few years! LOL
Saturday we went to a surprise 50th birthday party for my stepmom. It was fun. Another day to sleep in and get going slowly.
Sunday we drove down to Holmen to visit with Karl’s parents. We leave the dogs home. We don’t get as much time down there but it’s much less stressful. We spent 3.5 hour driving, 3.5 hours visiting then 3.5 hours driving. The shorter visits are probably easier on this parents too. His mom made a nice dinner for us while we were there too.
What a great weekend! We started out Saturday morning with Vada having a great FullHouse run. She was rock solid on her start line stay. I lead out two jumps to an aframe! Copper had an awesome run too. He was feeling good and he ran well. I was happy to see him having so much fun! After those 2 runs I was ready to call it a weekend. Glad I didn’t though as it got better as the weekend went on. Vada’s next run was Wildcard. She decided to break her stay so I marked it and took her off the line. No tugging. We just want back to the van. Not a big deal but no playing on the equipment and no tugging for her. She was good all weekend at the last trial so I knew she would test me soon. I’m glad she did at CPE and not USDAA. But I’m sure she’ll test me there too. She held her start line the rest of the weekend! So I was reinforced for maintaining criteria. That will make it easier to do in the future. That weekend of pulling her in almost all the classes was super hard. I can handle one class here and there. We had some beautiful runs over the weekend. I worked hard and it felt good! Vada really enjoyed it too. We had 5 Qs out of 8 runs. 4 of those were 1st place. I ran for smoothness and just a Q in Snooker and not points. I also ran Copper and Vada on the same course. We also got a coupon for having the fastest Colors time of 11 seconds. And that was our Level 2 Colors Q *finally*! So we earned our CL2-H and finished up our CL2 finally! Still need our last Level 3 Jumpers Q. Too many bars down. Fun run though on a challenging course.
Copper went into the weekend needing 3 Qs to finish up his Level 3 classes and his CSL3. He was entered in 4 runs. He Qd in 3 runs and it was the 3 that he needed! He almost Qd in Level 4 Standard too but we had an oops and it ended up being an off course. He was full of fire and running really well and really enjoying it. The CSL3 was the last goal that I hoped to accomplish with him in CPE. We’ll keep trialing in Level 4 classes as long as he feels good. But I have no aspirations of finishing his CSL4 as it takes alot of Qs.
Seven had a good weekend too. He tries so hard. I kick myself all the time for not making it a higher priority to train him more. He did Q in Jumpers Level 4. He did a really good job. It was a hard course.
I tried really hard to get to the line on time this weekend but it was hard sometimes. I even left walking early one time and got Copper and RAN back into the building and they had passed us up. It was a small class too and I didn’t want him moved down to far as I had to go get Vada to run her in the same class. We always get to run. But that made me realize it was physically impossible. They need to have a buffer time between walking and the first dog. But I guess other people are ready so they just start. They went little to big both days and I was so happy about that. They did course changes fast and had what seemed like really short walk thrus. On Sunday I did not have enough time to walk a JackPot run for Copper and Vada. So I just walked Copper’s as his Q was more important. Then I walked Vada’s from outside the ring. It worked well except I goofed on the gamble and stood still too long. We were 1 second over time and didn’t Q. The obstacles were really close together and it was awkward. We just need to practice weaving while I stand still more often. More weave proofing! Never a bad thing. For the Standard course had just walked into the building to see where they were and and they had already finished the previous class, set the next course and were walking it. I went out to start walking and the judge said to clear the course! I was only able to walk around it once. Then I walked it from ringside and figured out my strategy of how to walk it from out there. We ran it well and Qd! Running a course without walking it is not a skill I like to practice but it worked out ok this time. And the trial did finish at decent times both days.
I crated in the van as crating is so tight inside Leatherdale. It got pretty cold. I ran the van a few times to warm it up. Saturday after the trial, Karl and I met at Eddington’s Soup for dinner and then ran to Target and got a heat pad. Sunday I plugged it into the power adapter that was plugged into the cigarette lighter but it would not work properly. So I ran the van alot again on Sunday. Old dogs get cold fast! Seven got cold too but not as quickly as Copper.
Sunday after the trial I helped load all the equipment into the rental truck. Then 3 of us girls unloaded it at the storage locker in Woodbury. We worked out butts off but we did a great job! I got home after 9pm and I was exhausted. But a good exhausted!
I’m looking forward to the next trial and I’m motivated to train more!