Sunday, November 8, 2009

Long weekend, lots of miles

Friday, I took the day off work and Phoenix and I went to see my dad. It was his 80th birthday. He woke up long enough to eat cake and ice cream, then went back to sleep. Guess that's a good way to spend your birthday. I'm amazed he is still alive. Last summer when he went into hospice, none of us thought he would live to see this birthday.

Of course, if I had a dollar for every time someone has told me "Your father is failing fast, he won't be here much longer" or "Your father is dying, you'd better come soon," in the last four months, well, I'd probably have $10.  

He has good days and he has bad days, sometimes they are the same day. He sleeps most of the time, can't speak and relies on others for all of his care. Thank God for Hospice. I wish a quick and peaceful end would find him and yeah, I'm selfish, I wish it would come soon because I want to get off this emotional roller coaster ride. Thank God for my dogs who have given me  lot of happy reality to anchor on through the summer and fall.

The Farmer combined beans until 9 p.m. We've had 5 whole days without rain.

Saturday morning, it was off to Kay's to train a bit and teach lessons. It was the "big girl" morning, with Chance the GSD and Mae, a St. Bernard. Mae is big, sweet and beautiful. It's fun to work with other dogs and figure out how to get the results you want. That's one thing about the big dogs: you can't force a 125-pound dog to do anything she doesn't want to. It has to be HER idea.

After Kay's, we went into Iowa City and checked out the new ICDOC winter facility. It rocks! It's the old Randy's Carpet store on Highway 1, just off Hwy. 218. The agility area is the former showroom and it's really nice. There's a separate spot for obedience in the back of the building and it's also huge and great. Everything is fully matted and ready to go.  

Phoenix and I trained with Kate and her two girls for a little while, then I ran a few errands in Iowa City and got the heck out of town before the football traffic cut loose.

Came home and raked leaves for what seemed like three days. This was not a lot of fun. How can you get blisters under band-aids AND gloves? Setting the leaves on fire was greatly satisfying, however. Then I took a shower and a lot of ibuprofen and was lazy the rest of the night.

The Farmer combined soybeans until 8 p.m. Six days without rain.

Sunday, we were up and on the road to Des Moines by 6 a.m. to the DMOTC show and go. Phoenix did two Open runs which were relatively nice  and one pre-Utility run which showed me the only thing he understands are the articles. 

Renee had a great idea to help with his finishes, which have never been all that great and I've decided to go back to square one and start over. Can't wait to try it. Nix will do a million finishes in his career, we'd both better like them and get better at them! Good thing ICDOC has that great building because we're going to be there A LOT this winter!

I need to get organized about the things we need to train this winter. Right now I feel like one of my obedience students when I ask what they want to work on and they say "Everything!" Maybe tonight I will try to prioritize this mess of training ideas. I'm sure it will become crystal clear when I'm sitting in my recliner in my PJs with a cup of cocoa.

Came home and played Frisbee with the dogs. It was 70 beautiful, sunny degrees on the 8th of Nov. Don't tell me winter is just around the corner. I'm sticking my fingers in my ears. Lalalalalala . . . I can't hear you.

The combine broke down with 12 acres of beans left. It will be a late night if they can get it fixed. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. No need to rush supper.

Ooops, the combine just went roaring down the lane. Sounds like they're back in business.

I hear my recliner calling . . . with a mug of cocoa . . . and a brilliant training plan for this winter.

Today, I'm thankful for dog friends who make me laugh.


  1. Ahhhh.... cocoa... what a GREAT idea!! Sounds like a busy weekend for sure - you need a nap!!

  2. Sorry to hear about your dad. I wish the same with my Grandma. And, not to sound cold-hearted, but I almost would rather not see her at all than have to see how bad she's declining. She has severe Alzheimer's and dementia, can't get out of bed herself, can't feed herself, etc. She can speak, but she doesn't remember anything or anyone.

    On an optimistic note, though, my aunt was put on Hospice and given 6 weeks to live....back in 1988. I talked to her two days ago, and she's a very spry 87 year old. Sometimes things disappear with no explanation.

    Sounds like a crazy busy weekend, hope you get rain and rest.

    (Oh, guess I should "introduce" myself, too. My name is Amy, I live in New Jersey. I'm a college student studying biology. I LOVE your F&F column as well as your blog. I'm currently training my Novice A dog, and boy oh boy what an adventure it is.)

  3. Had my Hot Chocolate already!!! It was NICE!!! I'm sure hoping the trend continues for more months!!! G

  4. You are making me even more tired just reading this. I worked at Camp 3 shifts and yep - we had a St. Bernard there - she comes regularly. She's the one that actually blew my whistle a couple times. Big slobbery sweetheart. I don't rake - but I did pull up my beautiful petunias - except for a few that will probably bloom in the next couple days. Want me to save them for you? I'm all for this weather as well. Can't beat it.

  5. I would love to hear what Renee's great idea is to help with Phoenix's finishes. Boy, do I need help with finishes! I'd go back to square one too, if I only knew where it was.