JANUARYI can’t remember what happened in January, except we had record cold. It was -29 one morning. That was air temp, not wind chill. I probably spent the month thawing pipes in the basement, which I’ve gotten really good at. Practice makes perfect. At least our toilet doesn’t freeze, like Gotsyzygy’s. Lay-offs started at work. Three of our papers closed.
FEBRUARYFebruary was basically a waste of time. Took my first week of unpaid furlough from work as the newspaper industry began a downward spiral.
MARCHI launched “Exercise Finished” and spent a lot of time obsessing about Phoenix’s obedience debut. 'Nix earned his OAJ.
APRILPhoenix and I went into the obedience ring for the first time and got his first two CD legs. Three days later I was in an ambulance headed for the cardiac unit at St. Luke’s. I don’t think there was any connection between the two. Took the National Weather Service’s storm spotter training, which resulted in a nearly non-existent severe weather season. Sigh. I should probably be careful what I wish for. Phoenix finished his CD.
MAYTook my second week of upaid furlough from work. Had a lot of doctors’ appointments and took a lot of tests. Passed them all, followed by the declaration, “You have a strong and healthy heart but you have heart disease.” Bought a pill organizer to keep track of all the meds. Got decaffeinated. Did a lot of gardening. Did a lot of training. Went with Michele and the cougars to a Linda Koutsky obedience seminar in KC. What fun! Went with Marsha to O’Hare to pick up Vinnie. More fun! More lay-offs at work. My job got reorganized. Wet field conditions delayed the planting season. Farmer was impatient. Cardiologist mentioned I should avoid stress. Phoenix finished his U-CD.
JUNEMade my first (and only of ‘09) phone call to the National Weather Service to report flash flooding after we got 3.5” of rain in about an hour. Spotted my first rotating wall cloud to the west of our house. Didn’t get to call it in to NWS because Williamsburg Emergency Management beat me to it . . . they were parked at the end of our lane, watching MY cloud. Katie and Beau came to visit for a weekend, bringing the dog total at our house to five: three Shelties and two Belgians. A good time was had by all.
JULYI baked zucchini bread. Lots of zucchini bread. Lots and lots of zucchini bread. Jamie turned 10. Dad went into hospice care. The first cherry tomatoes ripened on the vine and the dogs ate them. Phoenix caught a ground squirrel. I obsessed about finding the ideal dumbbell for Phoenix after he broke his perfect Joe Fiest dumbbell. I finally spent the money and ordered a custom-size Invince-a-Bell from J&J. July set a month for record cold temps.
AUGUSTShowed Phoenix in UKC Open. Obsessed about heeling with my left arm up or down. Finally decided on up. Rilda threatened to "help" my decision with duct tape. Poweshiek Water trenched a line to our house and we hooked up to rural water. No more orange well water! The Belgians continued to eat tomatoes off the vine as fast as they ripened. August set rainfall records for the month. Connor turned 15, then passed away a week later. He gave me so many wonderful things. I miss my Skunk Dog.
SEPTEMBERI did nothing but show dogs and camp this month: obedience at the Amana and Des Moines clusters, agility at Granger and Scott County. Took some actual paid vacation time off work. Wow, what a wonderful, FUN FUN FUN month! 'Nix finished his GN on my birthday. Can it be September forever?
OCTOBERBig transition at work, as our press room and mail room closed and all printing and distribution was moved to Des Moines. My job changed. Again. Many new procedures to learn. Many irate subscribers who did not get their papers to deal with. Cardiologist reminds me to avoid stress. Hauled in flowers to winter-over before the first frost. Took cuttings from others. Bought a remote control rat and had too much fun with it. Record rainfall delayed harvest. Farmer not happy.
NOVEMBERPhoenix finished his U-CDX and AXJ. He celebrated by chasing a cat into the rotary hoe. Eight stitches sewed his side back together. The cat was fine. Weather finally dried out enough for the Farmer to continue harvest. The combine went up in flames. Stress? What stress?
DECEMBERSnow. Snow. Snow. Ice. Fog. Rain. Snow. Ice. Dad died after five months in hospice. Thank doG he is finally at peace. Gannett announced more furloughs in the first quarter of next year. Christmas came and went with very little fanfare. Phoenix turned 3. He wanted a cat. Santa brought him a Big Mean Kitty. He loves it and is trying to dismember it. Life is good.
Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s a toast to our dogs, our friendships, love, laughter, joy and optimism in 2010!