two steps forward, three steps back

That seems to be my pattern with Maverick

He seems to be doing really well with training, he’s understanding words, he’s responding to commands, we’re having fun with this and then bam – we go out to the field, which we do every stinkin day because it’s where he potties = and he decides to turn into the lead dog and make me the sled.

My part – I got angry because this kid is seriously strong and it hurts when he just won’t stop pulling. ** I think I yelled loud enough to be heard in NYC. I know, wrong move. At the moment, it was my first reaction to 5 minutes of yanking on me. I talk to myself, “don’t pull back, makes it worse. Don’t move, he’ll stop. Take one step when he does.”

So after absolutely not even a drop of pee was let loose, he started back to the house. One very slow step at a time, with him straining at the leash, relaxing for a hot second and right back with more force.

Apparently this frustrated him, because he turned and grabbed the leash and the tug of war was on. Again, my mistake – not reacting is hard to do when your arms are being ripped from your shoulders. The one bright spot – he did sit when I yelled that word! And then grabbed on harder and yanked even harder. By the time we got to the house I was in tears, put him inside, sat on the swing and cried.

And then I got my shit together and we went upstairs and he jumped on the bed and he has no clue that he behaved very badly 15 minutes earlier.

To be a dog and live in the moment. I reminded myself, before I came in, that he doesn’t understand English, didn’t know what STOP IT NOW meant – hmm, can I train that? – and will have forgotten the whole thing by now.

Meanwhile, we go back to some work on basics, and yes, he WILL go out to the field again with me. And we’ll both behave better.

**I will not use a choke chain, a harness, or any of the other temporary fixes. Tried them all with Max, they work for a minute.

Posted in dogs, Maverick, puppies, training | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The proverbial cluster

This has been my life for the past week. Last Monday I left my house at 9 am to start what is normally a 6 hour drive to visit family. I rolled into town at 10:15 pm. 128 miles from home, my car broke down. Along a major highway. The saving grace was that I knew it was dying and managed to get off the road far enough that I wasn’t in any danger – had I been in the passing lane, I would not be typing this now. 45 minutes later, the tow truck appeared and – silver lining – I got to ride in a big truck and see scenery that I don’t normally see because I’m driving. An hour after arriving there, I learned that the fuel pump had died. We replaced this fuel pump 9 months ago.

Livid does not describe how I feel about this equipment fail. It should NOT have happened.

Renting a car so I could continue on was another episode of “are you kidding?” First it was arranged and then it wasn’t, no car till Wednesday. Umm, no. The wonderful Mercedes people drove me 30 miles south to get a car – silver lining – it was a really nice car.

By the time I got back on the road, it was nearly 7 pm. I had brought a sub along for lunch and eaten half of it, so I was hungry but didn’t want to eat tuna in a rental car. I also didn’t want to stop but when I had to use the rest room, I gobbled down some of my sub and some chips. It soon got dark, and I don’t see that well in the dark these days so that slowed me down some.

I wanted three things when I got here – food, beer and a shower, in no particular order. I stopped at McDonald’s – something I never do – then went to the grocery store for beer, checked into the motel, got a shower and finally let it all go. I think I cried for 10 minutes straight.

My Bear had said he would come get me. I didn’t want him to drive 128 miles only to have to wait for a tow and be stuck and all that jazz. We were in continuous communication – he was almost as exhausted as me by the end of this ordeal.

The car was done on Wednesday, but too late in the day for me to drive down to pick it up. We went Thursday. I am a bit nervous of it now although they reassure me that everything was replaced that needed it and I’m perfectly safe.

This hasn’t been one of my best visits. Strains in relationships are showing – too much togetherness is reminding me of why I moved away so many years ago. My plan is to stay 10 days because I have a great deal of work to do for school and with Maverick needing constant attention – my attention to him is excessive, I’ve been told since being here – I get little done. I thought I could spend some time actually working while here.

Last night the shower thingie that makes the water go from the faucet up to the shower head fell off in my hand. This morning I called the manager who was not able to fix it and thought I could just take baths for the next couple of days. No.

I moved to another room. The internet was okay in the first room. It sucked donkey balls in this room. After a disastrous lunch with two sisters – apparently I remember nothing of my childhood – I came back to the motel to do some work and could not stay online for anything.

My frustration levels hit a peak and I went to the manager and demanded to be moved again. He said, oh, I just need to reset the modem. Facepalm. DO IT!

I’ve got two more days here. Then home to my Bear and my Maverick. I’m so ready. I’m so ready I won’t even mind MASH, Well. Yeah, I will. 🙂

Posted in family, home, my life, vacation | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

It’s just knitting – or is it?

Over the past few days I’ve joined a few groups that have been formed in response to Ravelry’s “no hate speech unless you hate Trump and then it’s okay” policy.

I’m sad. I’m sad about the number of people who simply love knitting, crocheting, making stuff, creating beautiful patterns, who have been excluded from a site, simply because they don’t choose to hate the current President.

I never liked Obama. I didn’t like his politics, I didn’t like the way he spoke, had I ever taken a class he taught, I’m sure it would have been torture – I don’t deal well with clipped, jerky speech. My problem, not his, and I didn’t hate him for it, but I didn’t like it. I also didn’t give two figs about the color of his skin. I didn’t like the path he was leading us down, I still don’t like it, and I’m glad, for the most part, that that particular train has been derailed for a while.

Through 8 years of that, I knit. I talked to a lot of people in craft stores because, hey, we all have crafting in common or we wouldn’t be in A.C. Moore or Hobby Lobby, now would we? I don’t think I ever once asked anyone for their party affiliation in all those years.

I joined Ravelry when it first started. I never participated much, if I found a pattern I liked, I would download it, bought a couple, but there were too many other sites that I could use to stick to just one. I guess that’s why this ban doesn’t bother me the way it bothers some people. It bothers me because you can’t say you’re inclusive and then exclude a huge group of people. You can’t ban what you consider hate speech and allow what an entire other group of people also consider abhorrent. I find vagina hats to be the essence of poor taste but I’ll defend to the death your right to wear one. I’ll make fun of you and laugh at you while you’re wearing it, but I won’t tell you that you can’t. It’s your decision if you want to look like a classless idiot.

I ask for the same if I were to make a MAGA scarf or hat. You can make fun of me, but don’t tell me I can’t wear it or share the pattern with people who want it. You just can’t do one and not the other.

I don’t know what happened at Ravelry to start this whole thing. I’m hearing that there were patterns with swastikas, and some nasty posts in some of the forums. I’m not sure that it couldn’t have been better dealt with – ban those people and make it clear that THAT kind of thing won’t be tolerated, but don’t paint every person who supports the President as some kind of deplorable racist idiot.

I joined a few groups on Facebook who were filled with people upset about this decision. I thought it would be nice to be in a group of people who wanted to talk about knitting, and who were so clearly upset about the lack of inclusivity on Ravelry that they would, themselves, be accepting of anyone who wanted to join.

Try that again. Within days, they’ve started sounding almost exactly like the group they’re condemning. When this was brought up, the people who mentioned it were roundly excoriated and told that if they didn’t like the group, they could leave. Hmmm, seems like that’s exactly what Ravelry did.

So I left them all. I’m gonna start my own group – wanna knit? We’ll talk. Wanna make a pussy hat? I’ll tell you how to find a pattern but I won’t ask why you’d want to make such a stupid thing. (My opinion – they’re stupid) If you want to knit a Swastika, or make a noose, your ass is out of my group. Otherwise, let’s all stop labeling and learn to respect each other again.

And I can teach you to knit if you want to learn. 🙂

Posted in knitting, my life, politics, Ravelry | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

I’m a knitter

And what I knit is normally given away. I like to buy yarn – the craft room closets are stuffed and there are baskets sitting about where Maverick can’t get into them, filled with yarn. My brain is constantly thinking of ways to use the yarn I have, and giving me reasons to buy more. I’m a wee tad addicted to yarn.

I can crochet, but knitting is my love. I started knitting when I was four years old. Family lore says that I picked up my mother’s knitting and did a few rows – perfectly – before she realized it and took it away from me. I still have the little knitting kit I got for Christmas that year – a little plastic lunch box sort of thing that I absolutely adored.

I’ve knit up miles of yarn in my life. Most of what I make these days is either given to someone or donated to a charity. I have enough scarves to, as my mother would put it, patch Hell 99 miles.

(I’m still not quite sure what that means)

Many years ago, I was told about this new website, where knitters shared patterns and in general, their love of knitting. Well, sign me up! And so I created an account.

I’ve knit my way through a lot of presidents, some I liked, some I despised. The person in office never influenced my knitting. I talk yarn with people who knit, I don’t normally talk politics. “Do you have a mitten pattern?” has never yet been followed by, “Maybe, but I won’t share it with you if you didn’t vote for the right person!”

I don’t care who anyone loves, as long as they don’t come after my husband – then we’ll have an issue, he’s mine, I don’t share. “Do you have an easy hat pattern?” is not answered with “It depends on your sexual preference.”

Today I learned that this website that I joined years ago is banning Trump supporters. My first question is, “who the hell is talking politics on a knitting board?” My second question is, ” do you really believe I’m a white supremacist because I don’t hate the President?” And my third question is, ” How the hell is this inclusive if you shut out anyone who doesn’t agree with you?”

I deleted my account. I’m sure they won’t even notice. The designers who sell patterns on that site might, though. I just can’t see how this is fair to them.

Posted in knitting, my life, politics | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Full moon and other woes

Dear Mr Judgy McJudgypants

Thank you for standing there, staring at me, instead of moving on, while I was trying desperately to get my dog’s attention away from yours and back onto me. When I was yelling “leave it!” and “middle, dammit!” did you not notice that I was really really trying, as I was struggling to hold onto 70 lbs of determined dog, to keep him from running over to you and your dog? He wanted to play, that was obvious to me, but what was also obvious, or should have been, was that I wasn’t going to let him run up to a strange dog. There was a reason you couldn’t just move on? You had to stare at me, and then continue to stare at me, when I finally got him to look at me long enough to make him move? Yes, I was pulling on him. Try moving him when he is totally focused anywhere but me, without pulling on him. I dare you.

Also, when I had to go back to the car to get wipes because I managed to get poop on my hand when trying to pick it up, thank you, Miss Judgy McJudgyass, for staring at me like I was Satan incarnate when I put the Teen Terror into the car so I could get the wipes out of the trunk. Yeah, I’m totally gonna leave him in the car with the windows rolled up.

And my Kindle is busted. The only good part of that is that Amazon is replacing it.

There’s a full moon. I blame most of the shit that’s happening on that. Call me crazy but there it is.

Posted in dogs, Maverick, my life, puppies, training | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The demise of an American Icon

My husband retired this week
He spent 28 years working for Harley-Davidson
The first time we met, he drove past the plant and told me proudly that he’d worked there for 14 years. Later we went out and fed the deer that lived on the land Harley owned, he bought a bag of apples and cut them into pieces that we threw to the deer – deer that would come up to the fence to get the pieces and then run back to safety.

A few years later, those deer would be slaughtered during a night hunt that was organized by Harley for reasons no one could quite understand.

We should have paid closer attention to that decision.

A few years after that, it was contract time. We had married, and built a house, a house that’s way bigger than we need for the two of us, but it was okay, because he worked at Harley and life was, and always would be, good. Harley took care of its people. Harley wasn’t a company as much as it was a family.

My family – dysfunctional doesn’t begin to describe us. I should have remembered that.

Harley management took lessons from my oldest sister. Make them think you love them, then stab them in the back. And smile. “You didn’t REALLY think we cared, did you?”

I should have known better.

I wrote this three years ago. It’s still true. And it still makes me sad.

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What I should be doing

I should be checking on the students who have done nothing or close to it since the summer semester began a couple of weeks ago. I should be reminding them that they have an exam that closes tonight at midnight and they really need to get on it if they haven’t completed it.

I should be doing some training with Maverick.

I should be reading a book or knitting something elaborate or working on my dog training course – since I paid for it, I really should get into it.

What I’m doing instead

I’m writing a blog post, isn’t that obvious?

I’m reading emails and thinking about writing a letter – because I still do that for a few people who love getting a real, written on paper and stuck in the mail, letter. I guess that’s another thing I should be doing but I think that thinking about it counts.

I’m pondering the cute little notebook I got to help me chronicle my Lenormand readings. (I think that almost counts as actually writing in it)

I’m thinking that even though Bear’s schedule changed and we don’t have to be up at the crack o’dawn this week, it might be nice to continue to get up early so we can get our walk in before it gets really hot.

All this thinking about doing stuff is making me tired.

I think I need a snack.

Posted in my life | 4 Comments

Early mornings

I am a confirmed night owl, have been since I can remember, although my mother would often tell me that when I was a wee thing, I would insist my father get me up when he got up at the crack o’dawn to go to work. I think it had nothing to do with the hour, I just wanted one on one time with my Poppa – as the youngest of five, that wasn’t always easy to get.

Mornings make me grumpy. People who like mornings make me annoyed. If it weren’t for coffee, and that most people can read my “get the hell away from me before I bite you” expression, I would probably be locked up by now.

So a couple years ago, the Bear retired from Harley Davidson, after being screwed over mightily and well, that’s another long story. Best thing he ever did was getting away from there, and here’s a hint – if you want a Harley, get one made before the last few years because quality is no longer important at that company. After two years of “enjoying” retirement, which was actually a year of recovery from major surgery and then another year of sitting on his butt watching endless episodes of MASH to the point where I was ready to hunt down Hawkeye and throat punch the self righteous bastard (can you tell I was pretty over it?), he took a part time job.

Thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus.

He works part time. But for the month of June, he works from 6 am till 2:30 pm. Last year, this was not a problem until the last week, Maverick came home on the 22nd so for that week, I got up at 6, took puppy out to potty, played a bit, then we both napped awhile, repeat through the day till Daddy got home and then I got a nap. This is not going to work with a year old puppy.

In the interest of my sanity, I’ve been getting up at 8. Asking for more than that would be impossible for me, it just won’t happen and if it did, I’d be meaner than cat shit, as my sainted mother would say.

So we’ve made it through almost the first week. Of course, it’s a week where I have something going on every single day.

If anyone has a spare nap they aren’t using, could I please have it?

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My Little One

I think we may have turned a corner and are starting to see light at the end of this tunnel. I’m pretty sure there are some rocks still gonna crop up in this tunnel and the light may be blocked a time or two. But in the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen you change so much – and I can see the dog you’re going to be.

It hasn’t been easy on us. I’ve struggled with accepting that I have to meet you on your terms sometimes, that I can’t make plans and expect you to follow them when you don’t speak English and don’t have a clue what I want. I’ve finally started to listen to you – and most of the time to understand what it is you need.

I made plans before we brought you home. For a while I’ve thought those plans had gone in the dumpster. Maybe I’m a hopeless optimist, but I think maybe some of them may just come out of the trash.

Tomorrow he may have me in tears again. Yesterday and today were amazingly good days and I’m going to bask in this glow as long as it lasts. Pray that the crash isn’t too hard!

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I don’t normally do this, but…………….

one of my friends recommended these treats so I ordered two bags. Maverick about stood on his head for them.

He insisted that I had to tell everyone about them, so if you get a chance, check out

Gracie is a delight, and her treats are, well, Maverick said “they made my mowfee explode!” He pretty much loves them, and he’s finicky.


He seriously is fussy, and not at all food motivated – and a high value treat today will be meh tomorrow. THESE treats look to have staying power, and they’re healthy, and the little girl who runs the company is just freakin adorable. So go and shop and send her a picture of your dog. Do it now. Maverick insists.

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