Friday, September 3, 2010

Feels Like Fall

Gray and windy and cool. Had to get up and add a blanket to the bed last night, but the breeze that came in my bedroom window felt great. My favorite season - hope we have a good one, and it lasts a few months. Like spring, you never know. Audrey is down to just 14 flowers out of the hundreds that she wore just a few weeks ago. I need to harvest a few seed heads to share with friends, but the rest will stay in place for the birds for this winter. The Goldfinches in particular are very attracted to the seeds.

Fish club meeting last night with a good turnout again. Certainly a viable club, though I wish that more of the members kept something other than Cichlids. A club member spoke on Killifish and did a nice presentation. Although I don't normally keep Killies, I may go to the upcoming Killie show and pick up a few species.

Argus visited Dr. Nicole the Chiropractor yesterday, as I was concerned about his back. He seemed uncomfortable in a stack and was not moving the way he could last weekend. She found an area that needed work, but was concerned that one of his stifles seemed "tight" - wondered if he might not have an area of inflammation from an old injury. May have to follow up on that too.

The pieces are falling into place to lease Tess the Watson daughter and breed her to Argus. I am so ready for a puppy! The litter will be whelped by and stay with Tess's owner/breeder until they are six weeks of age, then will come here for the rest of their socialization, BAER testing, health checks and placement. Tess's owner loves to do the baby puppy part of a litter and does not want Tess gone, so this works out fine, and Tess will only be here for a few days to be bred. Hope this all works out.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Money Week

With all the people scheduled retired from our office, the office chit chat often centers around money issues. Perhaps because I work with money all day, I put very little thought into my own finances, particularly my investments. Decided that THIS was the week to get a handle on everything and discuss my finances with the appropriate advisers. I hope to be able to work at least 4 more years, so there is still time to make the necessary changes. Fortunately I belong to a wonderful Credit Union and have access to excellent financial advisers, free of charge. This was also the week that representatives from our Deferred Comp (retirement plan) were available for appointments. Took advantage of both.

Although I don't have a lot of investments, it's a useful amount and I am tired of looking at my stocks continue to lose money. The mutual funds have done quite well over the years so I wanted to hang on to them. Switched the mutual funds account to the Credit Union (from a large banking giant) and liquidated the stock account. Am tired of waiting for Medtronics and Merck to become winners! The money from the stock account will pay off my Visa (my only charge card - yay, no charge card interest anymore), and buy another CD or more mutual funds. I am officially out of the stock market - hooray!

I decided to reallocate my Deferred Comp account, and moved everything to the state Fixed Fund that currently pays 4.3%. Isn't it amazing that THAT is a great return right now? The money comes out before taxes and is taxed when withdrawn, in contrast to the IRAs where the money is not taxed if withdrawn at the appropriate time. Increased my Deferred Comp deduction as well, since I will have no interest costs on my Visa. Think I will go in and increase it further.

Today I will retrieve my savings bonds from my safe deposit box and decide what needs to be done with those. Haven't paid them any attention for years. Then all I need to do is keep my job!

Campaigning a dog is expensive, even with co-owners to help. Next year Argus will only be shown a specific shows, rather than being campaigned. He is the last dog I plan to campaign extensively. Yes, I said that after Morris in the 90s, but now age is also a consideration. Although I can still show a dog as well as the younger folks, that won't last forever! Campaigning is exhausting - the highs are so high, but the lows are very low indeed, and the travel is time consuming and sure wears out a car.

Argus and I will have to get involved in obedience competition to keep us BOTH from going crazy!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Josely Posely

I was looking through my pictures this morning - you know, the pictures that live on your computer's hard drive and never get printed? There must be at least a zillion of them, and I occasionally go through intending to delete many and reorganize the rest. Although I start with good intentions, I always seem to get sidetracked as I think about the dogs, people, places and events that are pictured. Came across some shots taken as I was trying to get pictures of Josie waiting for me to throw a toy for her to catch. There are very few decent shots of Josie because they would have to be "action shots". If you so much as make eye contract with Josie she grabs a toy and dances in front of you waiting for you to throw it for her to retrieve or catch. You can see the anticipation in her face if you look at this picture.

Josie (aka Josely Posely) is such a cool dog. She's from a litter bred in Colorado, and sired by Argus' brother Peter. She finished with a nice record including a Specialty major, and produced two large litters of the most incredibly charming pups. Most were livers and almost all of them have Josie's wonderful personality. Sweet, silly, cheerful, and incredibly playful. Many went to previous Dal owners, and their owners always comment on how their Josie kid is the most entertaining dog they have ever owned.

Josie waits for me to come home from work, and always hears the car as it comes down the street. The minute she hears me at the door, she grabs a toy and gets Argus to tug with her - even though they have been dosing all afternoon. It never fails that when I walk in Josie and Argus are tugging, while watching me. If I hide her tugging toys she races frantically around, looking for a substitute so that she can greet me properly. Good dog Josie, my silly clown.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back To Reality

It's been a fun couple of weeks but I need to get back to my routine. Two 3-day dog show weekends, the long trip to Colorado, and having a house guest meant that my regular chores got set aside. The house doesn't look too bad, the yard can wait 'til the weather cools off, but the poor fish have been neglected - fed on schedule but no water changes. The three large barrels are full of water that is aging a bit, and the two with "doctored" water will be ready to use tonight. Epsom salts, marine salt and baking soda make the water better for my lifebearers and most of the cichlids.

First order of the day will be making a chiropractic appointment for Argus who is not moving quite like he should. I suspected a problem this weekend, but it took some moving shots from my friend Tom to show me there was indeed a problem that needed to be addressed. I know how it happens, but can do little to address it other than pleading with Ron to be careful when he sends the dogs out. They go racing off he deck, slipping and sliding, and hit the sidewalk at an angle, trying to be the first one into the yard in case there might be squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, mice or the neighbor's cat. It's not a pretty scene, Watson has twice hurt his right shoulder as well as his back, Josie has sprained her right back leg, Argus has hurt his right shoulder and back and Coral has hurt her back. None of the injuries have been serious (so far), most required only aspirin and rest, but a couple have required chiropractic visits. I could see from the picture that Argus was not moving with his back as level as it should have been, but I also noted that he was fussy about stacking yesterday, and another friend noticed that he was rocking back, which is something he has never done before. Seems as if he and I are in a self- destruct mode!

We are very proud of how well some of Argus's brownie kids did this weekend!! Charlie picked up 2 more points (but the major broke), Penny was BoS at the Specialty and Select the other two days for points toward her Grand Championship. Pauli had a Select and a Best of Breed, and out in the Pacific Northwest, Pauli's brother Krash won the Puget Sound Specialty and Best Of Breed at the all breed show the next day! Nice showing. The other Argus kids in this area showed very well, with Sam & Rita getting lots of compliments in Specials. That's Krash pictured on my blog today. He is owned and shown by a first time exhibitor Jordan, who finished him with two specialty majors - and now has a specialty win!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

All Good Things Must End

Back from dropping Laurie off for her return trip to Virginia. So handy living this close to the airport, but not under a flight path. No airport noise, but I can do a drop off or pick up in only half an hour. We sure had a good time. Lots of discussion, laughter, adventures, and excellent dining, plus a very successful run of dog shows. Today is the last day of another long weekend, and I am so ready to get back to my routine! Lots of catch up fish keeping to do, dog nails to cut, and a house to clean.