Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mama said there'd be days like these

They say no one can ruin your day without your permission.

By noon on Saturday, I decided that “no one” had no intention of bothering to ask permission and they were definitely conspiring against me. Although my days weren’t exactly ruined, they weren’t going according to plan, either.

It started Thursday afternoon when I got pulled over by the state patrol. Sigh. Guilty look. Yes, I was speeding on my way to do an interview for the paper. The officer had me dead to rights. He informed me I was doing 65 in a 55. Really? Yeah. Really. Okay, not arguing. He gave me a written warning and told me to slow down. Maybe that’s two warnings.

Later that afternoon I took R2 to the dealership for an oil change. Phoenix went with me because we were going to train before I taught my evening class. Phoenix is a big hit at the car dealership. That is a post all by itself.

I pulled out of the dealership and within 2 minutes, the “check engine” light went on. Well crap. I turned around and went back. They hooked up a diagnostic computer. Apparently whatever ailed R2 was beyond the scope of that computer. It did the IT version of going belly up.

Thirty minutes and 2 diagnostic computers later, the service department informed me they had identified the problem but didn’t know what was causing it and I would need to make an appointment to come back and have it fixed. (This begged the question of how they were going to fix the problem when they didn’t what was causing it but I didn’t think they wanted to hear my opinion.)

They said there was an air intake problem. I frequently have air intake problems when I run agility but I suspect it’s not the same thing. They said R2 was safe to drive but the check engine light would probably come right back on. (Three days and 350 miles later, it has not come back on.)

Then I went to class and did something I’ve never done in the 15 years I’ve been an instructor. I kicked someone out.

Technically, I kicked her dog out. The owner is welcome to come to the remaining classes, although I’m not sure she will.

Her dog has a number of issues that are not going to be resolved in a class setting and made the class environment extremely unpleasant for the other students. Excusing her was justified but that didn’t make me feel any better about it.

Friday morning, I drove to an agility trial – our first trial in nearly 2 months and it showed. Phoenix was very . . . enthusiastic . . . in his runs and we ended the day 0/3, including getting whistled off in Standard after he put himself back on the teeter.

Saturday morning, our phone rang shortly before 6 a.m. It was the Farmer’s mom. The Farmer’s dad was vomiting blood. The Farmer told me I might as well go ahead and go to the agility trial. His sisters were headed to his folks’ house, too, and he would call me when he knew something. He took off for his folks’ house, which is nearby.

Phoenix and I were in the van, headed down the farm lane we share with the Farmer’s parents when the ambulance pulled in from the road and parked in front of their house, effectively blocking the lane. I decided it would be poor form to go in and ask if they could move the ambulance so I could go to a dog show, so I drove through the field to get to the road.

About halfway across the field, I remembered the Farmer had strung electric fencing somewhere out there in the dark so he could move the cow herd closer to the house in the spring when they start to calve. The way things were going, I was pretty sure I’d find the fencing when I wrapped it around R2’s grill but made it to the road without incident.

I had to shoot pics at a local winter festival in the afternoon and had my fingers crossed I’d be able to get both of Phoenix’s runs in before I had to leave. It didn’t happen. Murphy’s Law ensured the agility trial schedule and the Winterfest schedule were in direct conflict. We ran JWW (another very enthusiastic and NQ-ing run, complete with bonus jumps and bonus tunnels) and headed home.

The weather forecast for Sunday was for freezing rain. Few things will keep me from going to any kind of dog activity but freezing rain is one of them. Deciding to err on the side of caution, I loaded up all my gear at the trial site and figured if I did decided to go back to the show on Sunday, I could just haul it all back in.

Winterfest at Amana actually went well. It was a pleasant January afternoon spent outdoors, taking pictures of crazy people throwing frozen hams, playing hockey with frozen porkchops, watching a beard judging contest and watching people trying to master an old-fashioned cross cut saw, which apparently is a lot harder than it appears.

The Farmer’s dad was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer and is likely to be in the hospital for a few more days.

Apparently today’s ice storm is a big enough event to warrant a name. Winter storm Luna arrived about the same time I got up this morning, putting an effective end to any notion I’d had about going back to the agility trial today. Freezing rain has glazed our east and south windows, giving them a frosted sort of white stained glass look. The Farmer came back from morning chores and said the country roads were treacherous.

I’ve spent the morning cleaning house and doing laundry. Jobs requiring electricity got top priority on the to-do list because with a forecast for .25” ice accumulation, the power could go out. I’m having minor flashbacks to February 2007, when we were without power for a week after an ice storm.

It’s good to have a clean house and stacks of clean clothes. This afternoon I can groom the dogs and if the power holds on, I’ll bake cookies and work on class material and some things for work. Phoenix and I can play some indoor training games. It should be a fairly relaxing day after three days that felt like one problem after another.

I am carefully NOT asking “What else can go wrong?”

Tomorrow is another day. (Thank you Scarlett O’Hara.)


  1. Oh wow. Just one thing after another. Well, hopefully the power will stay on and you'll be able to make cookies and make the best of it.

  2. Wow - sounds like you had, as we say, an "Amy Day"! They suck. But good for you for excusing the other dog on behalf of your other students. I wish more instructors had the you-know-what to do so.

  3. Wow, Im tired from reading all that. Ive excused two dogs in the last couple of years. For aggressive behavior toward other dogs. I felt terrible but I also felt like I had no other choice. I hope everything goes ok for your father in law.

  4. At least is was funny to your readers. We heard on the news there was as winter storm headed to the midwest...but it's 50 here and warmer tomorrow. Then I saw that they meant Iowa.

  5. Oh hunny tomorrow will be better. The engine light could be like mine (my venture van) that comes on every winter at least once due to moisture condensation issues with the snow, slush and freezing. I'd bet money that is what is going on.