Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Color Run 2015

A group of us did the color run again this year.  It was equally as crowded as last year and very much disorganized.  We got there early, lined up relatively close to the start line and still waited an hour because they were just letting people from sidewalks and side streets squeeze in out of turn.  And of course a ton of people show up to just walk this event so even though you start in waves if you are jogging you still hit tons of congestion.  Although it was still kind of fun I don't think we will be doing it again unless there are significant changes or a good reason to go.  The novelty has kind of worn off for me.  Plus, before the race started I tripped over a pole going to meet one of the girls at check in and fell hard on the sidewalk scraping up and bruising my hands, knee, leg and shoulder.  Which left me bleeding and sore the whole time we waited in line.  On the plus side (?) I am still sporting some color, well the colors of 4 day old bruises anyway.

Fortunately you can't see my blood very much in the pictures.  And we didn't seem to get as colorful this year-the stations were crowded and not as well staffed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Congratulations, it's a teenager!

Because we would not want things to get boring around here, we have decided to host a foreign exchange student.  Actually a friend of mine and her family hosted last year which I thought was a neat idea, then we found out there is a chronic shortage of host families.

The organization they used (and that we are using) is the Program of Academic Exchange (PAX).  Many of their students come to the U.S. via two scholarship programs-Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) and the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES).  We thought is seemed like a raw deal for kids to work hard and get into these programs and then not have a place to go.  We also thought it was a very unique opportunity to meet new people and learn about another culture.  Fast forward to this spring and everything is now official!

 The young lady we have selected will be coming from Egypt as a part of the YES program.  The YES program was established after 9/11 and brings students from countries with significant Muslim populations to the U.S. for a year so that future generations can grow up with the opportunity to learn about other cultures peacefully and with the ability to  understand and accept differences.

We are looking forward to an exciting and adventurous year.  I'm sure many updates will be posted!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring flowers

My new flowers are not only still alive, but doing well.  If I can make it the whole summer with just one set, that would be a record for me!

Monday, April 20, 2015

First time for everything

We headed back to Texas for another Run As One agility trial this weekend.  This time the location was supposed to be outdoors on grass at a ranch north of Dallas.  We had been promised the location was lovely, and about an hour closer to home for us so we were excited.  But due to the amount of rain they have had in texas they warned us late in the week there was a chance the trial might need to be moved to their regular covered arena location south of Dallas, where we went in November.  But by Friday morning we got the all clear that we were good to go at the Denton location and no one needed to change hotel reservations.  Friday we drove to Denton without incident and settled into our hotel for the evening.  Right before we shut off the lights I checked my email one last time and found out that there had indeed been too much rain and vehicles who had attempted to set up at the ranch were getting stuck and sinking into the mud.  So, the trial would be moved to the Terrell location, 70 miles from our hotel.  But with a 10:00 start time to compensate.

So, we got up, made the drive and had a relatively nice day.  I only had the girls in 4 runs each.  Lyric picked up a tunnelers and a regular, but pooped out and didn't really run for me in jumpers.  Legend had a wild run in weavers, picked up one regular and had a lovely chances run except for not doing the out barrel.  Really, a barrel in chances?  She doesn't even know a word for barrel, much less recognize it as an actual obstacle with specific performance criteria.  But the rest was nice, she did all the parts she knew how!

The initial plan was to hope that the field in Denton dried enough to be used Sunday but with more rain expected that wasn't going to happen.  Now, why didn't we just stay at the back-up location of the horse farm?  Because there was a horse event there on sunday and they didn't want to cancel.  So we had to pack up the whole trial and move to the back-up back-up location of the trial host's home!  They had their property nearly ready to hold a trial anyway and the location really is lovely.  They even invited Linda and I to stay with them Sunday night rather than drive the hour back to the hotel for the night.  We decided a nice home with friends sounded better than the Motel 6 so accepted their very kind offer.

But Sunday came along and the dogs were not running well.  Lyric was slow, Legend was not doing much better than her sister and Chesney was distracted.  By 1:00 it was sunny and 80 and I wasn't expecting much from Lyric for the rest of the day.  All that remained was regular and Legend doesn't really need regular Qs so I proposed we head home and have all day Monday to enjoy rather than drive.  So we packed up, thanked Ed again for the offer and headed home.  First we got stuck driving around a construction detour trying to get back on the highway, then we stopped twice to let storms pass, then it rained for two hours after it got dark.  I finally arrived home after 11:00.  Not exactly the reasonable hour I was hoping for and totally exhausted, but with an interesting story nonetheless.

Today I enjoyed sleeping in, and taking my time getting unpacked, cleaning out the truck and cleaning up the house.  If it was not so windy I might get some things done outside, but we will see!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Races and other things

Saturday we did the Camp Barnabas half-marathon for the third year in a row.  While not shooting for a PR (I'm not interested in doing that ever again) I was hoping for a decent time and was happy with my second best of 2:04:31.

In other news, we still haven't heard from the insurance company about the car, despite it being 10 days post accident.  They did provide us with a free rental at least.

We are headed to an agility trial this weekend and even though I had planned to practice contacts at the very least, I have not done so.

I volunteered (under peer pressure) to be the volunteer coordinator for the upcoming 3 day nosework trial in May.  It's a little more stressful than I had hoped as I don't currently have enough volunteers so fill all my slots and also still know very little about how these things work as it will only be my second trial to attend/volunteer/compete.  But it should still be a fun weekend.

They keep promising spring weather here, but it has been mostly cloudy and dreary lately.  We did get the lawn moved and some new flowers planted though so things are looking better around the yard.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Quick show and tell

This is not the most bladder stones I have taken out of a dog, but they are certainly the biggest!

And these are from a few weeks ago, not as big, but spiky.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Eventful weekend

Friday I did my last long run before next weekend's half-marathon.  Then we had plans to go out to eat and to a local comedy show.  On the way to dinner we promptly had a car accident.  On the upside, no one was hurt.  On the downside, it put a kink in our night, was our (well, let's be real, Jerry was driving) fault and so we get to take insurance increase and pay our deductible.
Also on the plus side the accident was in a convenient enough location that we still walked to eat, catch the later part of the show and then over to Jerry's office to borrow a company car.  That seems to happen a lot lately...

Saturday, after getting the car towed, we borrowed a trailer, loaded up on fence building supplies, as well a ton of gravel and started our weekend project.  First we built a cattle panel fence around the horse corral since Socks doesn't seem to care about the electric, and since my electric never seems to be working properly anyway.  We also added a real gate, since as I said, the electric wasn't cutting it.  Unfortunately at the end of the day we forgot to check the latch on the old gate, which we had been bringing supplies through and so this morning we had to retrieve the horses out of the neighbors yard.  Socks and Squirt were good like usual and came right up to me to be led home.  I had to take a second trip back for Moses and chase him home, but this time he went right away instead of running the neighborhood like last time.

Here you can seen them in the new fence.  They are either tired from their adventure, or pouting about being punished.
Finally, today we finished scooping all the winter poop from the stalls, laid down new bedding and spread a new layer of gravel in the barn.  It looks much better.  I didn't take a before picture but it was basically a mix of gravel, mud, and the occasional grass.

Then we had to drill holes in the bottom of the big flower pots I bought last year because apparently there were none which meant they didn't drain leading to a mess of rotting plants and stagnant water.  
After that was cleaning up of the garage, and cleaning out a closet.  It's amazing the kind of stuff you hang on to, that then gets buried and lost long past the time it would have ever been useful.  But we now have a lot of space in the closet, and a lot of trash. 

We completed our holiday with a trip to Lowe's for new plants and then to Wal-mart for some groceries.