Monday, March 30, 2015

WSOTC Spring Obedience Trial 2015

Soooooo close to April 1 and Easter Sunday! I have high hopes for this week. :)

Sunday was a great dog day. My mom and I went to the WSOTC Spring Obedience Trial up in Monroe. We could only do Sunday with my current work schedule. It was the first time for Maggie (mini Aussie) to ever be in the official show ring (first time for my mom as well) and I was hoping to break Nim's "Not Qualifying" (NQ) rally obedience curse.

The venue is fun. No conformation at this show and at this point more and more I am going to obedience trials in which I know the people to hang with and the people that need space. :)

There were 3 obedience rings strung together.

And the rally ring was in a corner by itself. However across the left alley is one of the obedience rings. For some dogs, the motion of the dogs across the way is a distraction.

Nim as always found this to be some quality people watching.

I super lucked out, and my Rally Obedience run was before my Beginning Novice run. In Rally obedience you can talk like crazy. In Beginner Novice this is more traditional obedience and you need to be quiet. I was even more lucky that Nim got the same judge and the was in the same ring for both.

Unfortunately for mom and I, the run order for Rally Obedience put us one after another. I went in first, and as I was exiting the ring, mom went in second. So we couldn't video each other.

Maggie held her own, but she was going to be damned if she was going to sit in front of mom with her back to any of the riff-raff behind her. They ended up NQ'ing, but it was a solid first run with a lot of obvious demonstrations that she had been training for this.

Nim and I did end up qualifying and we have finally got our second leg! He did some beautiful work. He was swinging a bit wide to check out other distractions in the area and our most common points lost was "out of position." I was so happy with him.

Both dogs were very sedate after their first run in the ring.

What mom and I both realized is that we probably should have walked both dogs around a lot more before their Rally runs. Even for me, when I first get to those shows it takes me a while to really take everything in and I just don't feel like walking him around very much. I don't think drilling the dogs really helps, but some basic attention in the area is a good idea.

I had some down time between Rally and Beginner Novice and I did finally start to get nervous. I knew where Nim's hiccups are (as well as mine) and I wanted to be really clear in my mind my best action plan to deal with them.

Thankfully we also qualified in our Beginner Novice run! I was actually able to remember a training issue I was having and correct for it under show stress which is often hard to do.

It is with some reservation that I am posting the video of our run. I am super proud of the run, my reservation is that there is a bad handler correction in the run that not only sets a bad example, but I just don't like seeing it. That being said, it is also a great learning video and like it or not, that is my bad correction that I need to work on not repeating. What you don't hear in the video is the judge gives me a deserved verbal warning on that correction as well. Corrections don't go over well in any obedience trials and tend to get you excused.

2nd Beginner Novice Leg/WSOTC 2015

Enjoy. :)

Monday, March 23, 2015


Don't they look angelic? They had me up at 1am and again at 4:30am. Part of me wants to wake them up now for playing so much in the middle of the night. Note Emile is completely hiding. He actually has some shame.

I am actually growing something! I was given wheat grass starts from my friend over at Orchard House Farm. I am so excited to have something already started for the spring.

Shockingly my cats have not eaten it yet.

Another I am sort of excited though because I realized I have three more working Saturdays left in the tax season. :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Featured Charity: The Lift Garage

This weekend the area got a lot more rain than I think was planned and we got really heavy winds Sunday night that I know I didn't hear about.

Thankfully nothing landed on my new table. And if you are asking yourself if I am really that lazy that I wouldn't go out into a wind storm to rescue my table? You would be right. I am that lazy. I had also eaten so much Pizza Pi that I was struggling to move anywhere at all.

This morning the sun is shining and the plants are recovering. The plum tree seems to be the worst off and has closed down all blooms. It is sort of its own fault for starting too early in the first place. I have no doubt it will be happy again later in the week.

Last night I read an article on a newer charity called "The Lift Garage." I knew I wanted to post it on the blog. This is one I will definitely be following and I am so excited about what this woman is trying to accomplish.

I strongly suggest you go to the site and read the entire story, but the short of it is that this woman was working in the social services and watching time and time again the failure of transportation having a downward spiral effect on people already struggling to keep a job. She decided to attack that failure at the source and went to school to become a mechanic!

I love her story and I love the problem she is trying to solve. It was absolutely inspiring to read about. In my area (and I am sure in most states), it is not uncommon at all to see people living in their cars packed with all their belongings and perhaps a cherished pet. Once that car fails to heat, move, or be safe on the road I can only imagine the stress when the car might be the last bit of stability one is hanging onto.

Check out her site and enjoy the story. This has to be one of my more favorite projects addressing job challenges, homelessness, and poverty instability. Truly inspirational.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

I Passed REG - 1 CPA exam down, 3 to go!

Hello! Quick post before I am off to work.

February 23rd I quietly took REG again, and this week I found out I passed!

Things I did differently:
  • I wasn't sick
  • I recently changed my role in a very stressful job to make it a less powerful force in my life
  • I got off the CPA discussion boards
  • I "devalued" the exam - basically  similar to the job situation, I took away some of its power

When I got my current tax preparation job, I told myself all CPA exams were off the table until after April 15th, but I was pretty far along in my review for REG "round two" so I decided to give it another try. I had a really strong study plan for the final week leading up to it, and that helped me a lot.

After April 15th all my focus will be on FAR. I would like not to consistently take a test, fail the test, and have to take it again. So hopefully I learned something from the REG experience to make me a better preparer.

Rainy Rainy Saturday out here. The photo above is from Friday evening after work.

Oh, and Happy Pi day! If you are a vegan in Seattle you know that it is the happiest day at Pizza Pi. As luck would have it I will be in Seattle tomorrow, so I will probably go and get a treat.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Everything is Better with Sun

I considered looking through my archives because I suspect I have used this title before, but I decided I didn't care.

Today was amazing. Actually so was yesterday but I was working in an office yesterday. Today I also worked, but I did it in my favorite office.

Yup. The umbrella is out. To make this tax season work I am working all 7 days a week and 50+ hours and you know what? I am still happier with my work life than I have been in a long time - that is a big deal for this non-career gal.

It does help knowing that tax season (and this unsustainable pace) eventually ends, but I think it is also finally FINALLY putting some of this tax education and the enrolled agent process to work. I also am in a healthy and supportive work environment which is huge.

Since Nim has decided to use his eyes again, he got to train today. He was super full of himself. Then, he realized we were going to station outside in the sun and he was really happy.

He flopped down and opened the Nim Motel to all the fleas which I am sure have not died due to our mild winter. :| I need to get some diatomaceous earth laid down out there.

The second the sun moved it actually got pretty cold out there. After a day of training, running the yard, and sun bathing, Nim is happy. So everyone is happy.

Special for Cindy at Bird Brains & Dog Tales:

Video of Nim's captivating low speed zoomies. Ha! Had we not been on lead in a parking lot they would have been high speed flybys.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Cooper the Tax Dog

Nim woke up Thursday AM with clear eyes and a lot of attitude. By Friday he had decided he was going to work even if he had to sit in the car all day.

Fortunately he got lots of breaks and hang time with Cooper, the resident tax dog. :)

Cooper is a Doberman/Lab cross and super cute. Cooper and Nim do really well together. Cooper only recently lost his other dog housemate and I think he misses having another dog around. Nim showed Cooper how he likes to shake his leash and his fluffy.

Cooper showed Nim how he likes to race around in little tight circles.

After work we did a small walk in North Bend. It was the time of night for the elk. North Bend is working on expanding this walking trail in the area and I love it. There is an entire section around a cow herd that I am looking forward to.

As usual, the elk were moderately annoyed with Nim.

As usual, Nim didn't care. Time to get out the door for work. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hello March!

We are having a warm winter out here. I am not minding in the least. The plum bush is already blooming and I have a Rhododendron trying. We are still getting very cold at night.

I am excited at the thought of my gardening attempt this year. I can't wait to get the flower baskets going.

Poor Nim is going nuts with his little blind eyes. We couldn't train today, but we did spend a lot of time outside.

My project was to assemble my new picnic table as my old one got damaged in a wind storm and is no longer stable.

I had some birthday money from a sister and some "REG aid" from my parents towards the CPA crazy effort. I think it was a good buy. This table was a bit easier to put together than the last one.

Nim stayed nearby, chewing. You can see his little eyes are draining a bit and he keeps them closed a lot still. He walked into something today, again, but generally he is using them a lot more.

He was adamant that we were outside for hours today, which was fine by me. Perhaps he won't wake us all up hourly tonight because he is bored and hasn't had enough activity.

New table is set-up! I actually found the old one more stable, but this will do just fine. I probably should try and fold it up for next winter.