Spring forward!

Happy Daylight Saving dudes!!

Does anyone ekse know what time they need to get up in the morning? No? Excellent. Well all either miss our collective transports to work, or be earlier than ever before. For me that will be something noteworthy, because: NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT A MORNING PERSON.

This weekend was awesome. I went for very long walks with Archer, who is right now snoring in the corner of the room. I love bedtime with an exhausted puppy. Its similar to bedtime with a wired puppy, but with less crying – and the dog is quieter too.

I took many photos of spring things in the rain with my phone because, why bother with an expensive camera if you cant get the photos onto you tablet/ cellphone/ INSTAGRAM! Also I have a cannon digital camera, and their editing software makes me angry. And confused. Like the hulk. I hate it with a passion, but have to use it because I cant find any other way of getting my photos onto my million year old laptop.

Whatever happened to the simplicity of iPhoto? All I really want is an auto upload, magic editing button, and some pretty filters.

As for my spring photos: Look its a one eyed tree! And he’s happy to see you!

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I love me the spring! I have to get a photo of my cherry blossom tree, theres no blossoms yet, but its getting all jiggy with the greenery as we speak, which is awesome, because for a week or two there I worried that it was going to be a sad little bundle of twigs forever that I’d have to proudly show off to confused visitors.

In other news the puppy toilet training is killing me. I feel a little bit like maybe I smell like puppy pee 24/7. I definitely smell like kibble, because  all of my jacket pockets and dressing gowns have dog food in them to get the little booger outside. Some of the problem is that the weather is exceptionally bad at the moment, and my pup is of firm belief that if he has a choice of pooping outside where the wind and rain is, or in my kitchen, where its warm and smells like baked goods…. well there’s no comparison really.

The other day I was on the train home, after 3 hours standing in the wind cold station with hundreds of other stranded people, and I reached into my pocket to get my ticket, and came out with nothing but a handful of dog food. At that point the train guy was just as done with the awful ‘will we get home, or won’t we’ saga as everyone else, and so he just shrugged and said “close enough.”

So I guess the kibble has its upsides afterall.

My little bro (of wifi lights fame) posted this pic on facebook the other day. They have this awesome retriever called Nala, and have just added to the family with the happiest, fluffiest samoyed I’ve ever seen.  His names Oliver.

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Look how happy he is! Dont you just want one? Only, like, not, because I already leave the house every day covered in dog kibble, cat hair, and Archer pee… I’m not sure I could handle polar bear fur on top of it.

Then Dad and Lisa drop the bomb that they’re getting another baby ewok. They have one already called Bella, and Lisa seems very set on calling her new puppy Benny…. I hope to convince her that Edward is a contender name-wise. If I can get her to agree, my Dad is getting a framed twilight poster for his man cave.

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Today I am grateful for sleep. Also trains that run three minutes behind schedule.

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So are we all ready for a post that does not centered around my adorable little Jack Russell Terrier Impersonator*? Yes? Too bad, because it’s not happening yet.

*I’ve decided that’s exactly what my puppy looks like running around the yard. he’s the right size, with the right markings. One can only hope and pray he grows into a real German Pointer soon. 

In the meantime, let us all now bow our heads and give thanks to sleep. Sleep is awesome.

Archer settled down with exasperated grumbling and unicorn snuggling last night again…. WITH NO CRYING. Just like the night before. It was a thing of beauty. I’ve never seen a puppy yawn passive aggressively before.

Meanwhile Batz is very much approving of the more sedate approach to bedtime. With Batz smooshed up against my pillow snoring loud enough to shake the bed, and block out a passing stock truck, and Archer giving the occasional sleep grumble… it was pretty hard not to laugh loud enough to wake the both of them.

I’m currently looking for an awesome collar for the little man. We may have our first trip to Animates ahead… there are some really neat ones on Etsy with engraved buckles and things which I’m totally coverting, but I’ll wait until he grows up for one of those… I almost wasn’t going to bother (because I’m going to use slip leads for training and you don’t need a collar with those) but then two things happened:

1.    I re-read the council dog bylaws, and he has to have his registration tags displayed on a collar when he reaches 3 months old. 

2.    This morning he totally squeezed out a hole under my gate and chased my car down the road. 

Suddenly the hunt for a collar has gained new momentum. Luckily he already has ID tags with my phone number and address on the way.

I HAVE seen awesome DYI make your own collar tutorials online, but for that I’d have to buy a sewing machine. Then use it… Despite peer pressure from the various crafters in my life, I’m not quite there yet!!

On the craft thing? I have exactly one and a half rows of a spectacularly fiddly and annoying scarf completed (here’s the pattern on Ravelry) I aim to get it to two centimetres by Christmas!! (Or I’ll abandon it because the yarn I am using is fricking annoying, and splits all the time, and makes it REALLY hard to knit.)

Perhaps sewing would be easier than knitting. And I do have a lot more rooms in my new house to fill with crap. (Ahem: Stash. My crafting mentor told me a while ago that crafters and drug users are the only people in the world who use the word stash. I’d argue that both of those groups of people display some very similar behaviors, so it’s hardly surprising the vocabulary has parallels too.)

Knocking on wood and licking a rabbits foot right now that the trend continues.

Archer and Batz

So yesterday I was pretty sure that my house would be a bomb site when I got home… Instead…. nothing. The yard was quiet,and clean. I did a circuit around the house, and my gardens all appeared intact. The garage was just like I left it, and the inside of the house… was fine. There weren’t even any accidents inside – not even on the newspaper.

For a horrible moment I wondered if Archer had found a hole in the fence… but no, there he was, napping in his beanbag.

I’m going to go ahead and touch wood that this is a continuing trend.

I haven’t gone over to see the neighbor yet, to find out whether he cried all day, but for now I’m going to go ahead and be tentatively relieved that I’m in possession of a GOOD DOG.

Peace

Batz is reluctantly overcoming his aversion to Archer, which is fabulous. I’m going to go ahead and knock on wood that we get through dog ownership without Batz picking up another over-grooming habit.

It’s possible the cat is so chill because he’s been fighting, and has a big scratch on his back… When he’s hurt himself he gets all cuddly and needy – which I’m shamelessly using to my advantage for the sake of peace.

Bed time is slowly getting better. Who else is glad that this crying and not sleeping through the night thing will only take a month for a puppy… as opposed to, like, 18 years for a kid.

This is a bit harder than I thought it would be.

Archers First Night Home

So today I am at work, which is pretty standard for a Monday… What is not standard is the fact that I have a 10 week old puppy at home. Probably whining and howling if our first two days are anything to go by.

I brought Archer home on Saturday, and keeping in mind I need these people not to call dog control on me, I took  Archer over and introduced him… She wasn’t all that impressed. Her exact words were” He’s very cute, but it’s not for me” (meaning dogs) and “I hope he’s not going to be loud” (because she’s home through the day.)

Not a very promising start if we’re honest.

Following that I introduced the dog to the house and so commenced the whining. He’s not used to being alone, so whenever he thought I was leaving he’d howl and throw himself at the flimsy gates I had through he house  to keep him contained.

On a related note: I have a new chunk of paint missing in my dining room, and laundry door frame where my first trials of a containment space went massively awry. It looks like I’ll be getting a lot of practice at patching and painting.

When bed time finally came we established a new routine using a crate that goes like this:

  1. Puppy goes into crate. I wait till he’s resigned to being in the space, and is calm and sitting. I shut the door.
  2. Puppy whines, and escalates to howling and attempting to climb out of the crate.
  3. I sit on the bed so that the dog can see me (don’t ask what happens if he can’t see me. I’ve blocked it from my memory). I am quiet, and no eye contact. I am and calm, and assertive. (I’m not actually calm and assertive, this is just what I chant to myself to stop from losing my temper.)
  4. The mental-case cat – utterly fed up with the lack of attention – sits on the other side of the room meowing.
  5. Puppy takes an hour or so to calm down. Cat spends the time nipping my hands and hair to (I assume) spur me into shutting the dog up so that he can sleep.
  6. Cat nipping results in him being thrown off the bed. The cat does not leave the room though, because he is batty, instead he stands beside the bed and howls with indignation.
  7. Puppy whines for another few minutes before grumbling himself to sleep. You have not heard a more resigned grumble than an Archer is in his crate and Not Happy grumble.
  8. Cat gets back on the bed and curls up as close to my face as possible, preferably under the covers, with the good pillow, because he’s annoyed at the fact he’s had to listen to this performance.
  9. Archer looks adorable, because who doesn’t love a sleeping puppy? (NOTE: Resist urge to look closer on pain of death, because he will not stay sleeping. Also no leaving the room, or going to brush your teeth.)
  10. Stay frozen on the bed hoping neither cat nor puppy wake up again.
  11. Rinse and repeat for the midnight bathroom break.

 

This whole experience is confirming for me that I’m not really cut out for calmly and rationally dealing with kids. Also? Much harder than the dog whisperer, and my assumptions made it seem – for starters Cesars magic Shh noise is totally TV Magic.

I don’t know how I glossed over the howling dog at midnight aspect of puppy ownership, because guys? It’s a thing. Puppies should come with a warning label that says “Yeah, you;re going to wonder if you made the wrong decision in 3, 2, 1 GO.”*

*For clarity sake I’m pretty sure we’ll be fine, it’s just when Archer is going, and Batz is going, and I’ve had less than 4 hours sleep the world is not a shiny place. I also am not sure what the damage is from Archer being at home during the day. it’s worrisome. And worrying. Also: I am WORRIED.

 

My second day with Archer was a trail run for work, so I left him inside, and went to get groceries. Archer then demonstrated that he’s small enough to get through a cat door. I discovered this while driving back in through the gate, and having a heart attack as my puppy came barreling up to meet the car. He has more cute than sense at this stage in his life. Knowing my track record with animals this may be a trend that continues through his life.

Becks came out to see the house, and the Puppy whined for two hours and climbed all over her. That’s a habit we’ll be breaking sooner than later I hope. I think in future Archerpants gets no attention from visitors until he’s sitting and quiet.

We went for a five minute walk which went surprisingly well. He’s learning to heel really quickly, which is the main idea. I want to start him out polite on the leash while he’s still little and malleable.

 

Anyway. I have work, and my lunch break is likely over. And I have a puppy at home possibly raising holy hell. (I’m going to go ahead and admit that this was absolutely the wrong time to get a puppy. I should have got him over Christmas, so that I could have a few weeks at home to ease him into being alone, and sleeping… and perhaps greasing up the neighbor with copious glasses of celebratory Christmas wine.

Important Announcement

Today has been pretty exciting

There was a dinosaur in mitre10, and I was mobbed by kids. Because I was in the path of the t-rex. So yeah. That happened.

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And I have something tiny, exciting, and new!!

My garden barn card arrived in the post. It’s pretty exciting. Theres a rewards programme.

Yeah. I love a good garden centre.

Hm.

What else?

Whats that?

Oh that noise? That would be a snoring puppy. PUPPY.

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Hes adorable. I’m not sure Batz is a fan though.

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Careers and stuff. (I’ve watched too many Women in Leadership panels this week.)

My boss at work is drawing up a new Personal Development Plan template, and she asked me to give it a wizz and pass back feedback on it. I was all ‘Dude yes.’ Because I have been thinking about development a lot lately, in the sense that I’d like it to happen soon.

I actually even sat down with various managers a month ago and told them that I’m looking to be promoted in the next 3-6 months.

For my inner introverted self, that was tantamount to running through the office with my pants down. SCARY. But the workplace is no place to be shy. So: I want a promotion. (They didn’t say no, but I do have to do a formal qualification before they’ll consider me. And then I have to wait till they advertise a role I think….)

Anyway, so professional development plan? Yes that is within my interests.

The first bit was identifying values, which is good, because I watched a TED video about branding last week,and then branded myself, so I already had that all worked out.

Want to see my values?

Development – because: PROMOTE ME PLEASE.

Balance – You know how everyone blathers on about work life balance? In March I worked 50 hour weeks, and and hadn’t had a haircut for 6 months. So actually that’s not what my Balance means. Mine means balanced mood and approach to life. When I’m not balanced shitty things happen, like depression. When I am I can work 50 hour weeks on one off projects that I think are important and worth my time, without destroying my ability to function like a human again at the end of it.

Engagement – I work better when I’m engaged and I care, and when I think my Managers give a crap about what I think. Also remember that time a Nigerian Spam Pirate Doctor proposed? It’s totally a long term thing.

Serenity – I put a lot of personal stock in Serenity. Mostly because the movie was awesome, but not as awesome as Firefly.

Vision – 20/20 bitches. But I’d look awesome in glasses. Recent polls suggest I’ll appear up to 22% smarter.

Mindful – I had an old teacher who would tell me to stop thinking so hard about things, which actually? that’s a shitty thing to say to an introvert, because THAT’S WHAT I DO asshole. I think.

Accountable – I’m accountable for my own actions, and hopefully one of these days that will mean I catch the stupid decisions before I go through with them because ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES. Also because my bank gets really annoyed when I tell them that my credit card balance is the result of a vengeful ninja con artist who stole it earlier in the week.

Playful – because 70 years is a really long time to be grown up  and austere about everything. I’d much rather have fun with it if I can.

Flexibility – Basically this was the result of me googling: what’s a nice way of saying that routines and day-to-day bores the shit out of me? Heck yes I’m flexible! Because if It would get me out of doing administrative work 40 hours a week, I’d do some serious contortion work. Administration is not how I want to spend my working life.

Innovation – because the same old gets boring. And life is too short to be bored at work. Ergo,  therefore: Dear Boss, Google lets people bring dogs to work. Just saying.

Thursday

Good Morning! Is it a good morning? I feel like it is. First it’s a Thursday, which, I think you’ll agree is the most Thursday of all the days.

I made a cake last night, that turned out burnt on the edges, and under cooked in the center. My oven is winning the war on baked goods.

For the last few months I’ve been working my actual tail off. See? look. No Tail. Not even a tail stump. I am tail free. I worked on a series of projects that required hours like I’ve never worked before. On one memorable occasion I was at work till 1am in the morning. I drove home, collapsed, and then was back at work at 7am.

The customer started to wonder if I was sleeping there. Possibly because at some point I think I stopped brushing my hair because: Must. Get. Through. Project.

When I finished I gratefully went back to working 9-5 on small projects. Only now? Now I’m a little bored. It’s not that the little bits of no stress work are bad, they’re just not as exciting, or time critical. My days don’t fly by anymore.

On the plus side, I now have enough time for a puppy – which actually this whole adjusting my lifestyle and making time for a dog, preparing the house, and worrying that I’m going to screw up training him… I’m thinking this is like child rearing lite. Or maybe it’s harder than raising a kid – I mean, there is no way naming a kid is as hard as naming a dog.

Last week I spent half an hour in the supermarket pet food aisle reading nutrition scores on puppy food. And googling online reviews.

Also I got invited to dinner with a friend next Tuesday, and now I think I might need a sitter for Archer because he’s too little to be alone while I’m at work AND at night, right? He’ll need feeding?

I wonder if I can swing pet-ernity leave past my boss. She’s pregnant right now, I’ll bet she understands (OR she’s pregnant right now and will have absolutely no time for me marginalizing the whole ‘birthing your own child then raising it thing’. Do I want to bait the 8 month pregnant lady? I think NO.)

In other news, Featherston has this great cafe, which does the most amazing quince danish. It’s spectacular. the day I first visited my house, I swung past the cafe (Everest) and brought my very first quince danish and a hot chocolate to go. I got to the viewing (early), and sat outside waiting for the real estate agent to show up (late.)

That day I fell in love with quince danishes. Also a house. Or maybe I just fell in love with one of them, and the other got dragged along too. Who knows. There was a lot of love going around that day.

The owners (and chefs) at the awesome cafe, have just announced they’re going to open an asian fusion restaurant down the road, and guys? I’M SO EXCITED! Featherston is ok… It’s small though, and doesn’t really do a good job at making the most of its commuter population – the shops close on Sundays, and there’s no late night shopping.

Food wise it’s mostly little cafes of varying (mostly MEH) quality that cater to the traffic passing through on the way to and from Wellington. There’s no real Asian food that I’ve seen… Although it’s entirely possible there’s a fish and chip shop that does a fried rice. It’s not quite the same as being able to go to yum char  just on a whim, or go grab an amazing roti chenai, or dumplings just as you wander home. So yeah, awesome quality food? YES. MORE OF THAT.

Now if only we could get a garden center, and Victorian-style street lamps. All my requirements for my dream town will be met.