Thursday, May 30, 2013

Another Bizarre Dream

Last night, my dream started at a Mexican restaurant.  Two of my friends - Chad and Tina - were there, and somehow we insulted the waiter and they refused to serve us, so Tina stole their plates.  I believe she also sneaked in back and replaced their refried beans with liquid bubble gum.  Tina then suggested that we leave Chad at the restaurant and drive to Wyoming.

So we drove to Wyoming.

On the way back, Tina said that she'd drop me off at the office, since a very bad storm was rolling in and my employer had called all employees in for safety reasons.  I wanted to go back to my car, because I had a large stash of firearms in the backseat... and also, Poison was crated in back.  But I ended up going to the office anyway.

The office was a tall, super-fancy skyscraper.  I took the elevator to the top floor, which was above the clouds.  It was all very creepy, and Mara (yeah, the demon Mara) appeared in the form of Tina Fey and told me to go downstairs with my fellow employees.  I determined that this was Mara's way of convincing me not to check on my dog, so I ignored her and tried to get out to the parking lot where my car was parked.  The doors were locked, but I could see that Poison was ok in the back.  I went back up to the top floor to confront Mara, but she was gone... and so were the creepy clouds.  I went downstairs to talk to my co-workers.

My friend Sean was there, and he was very sad.  He said he was bored, and really wanted some frozen yogurt but there were "a bunch of ladies with pugs" in the frozen yogurt store (attached to our office building) and he didn't like pugs. I went inside the frozen yogurt shop, and asked why the pugs were there.  One of the pug owners said that they knew the owner, and she allowed them to have pug playdates in the shop.  I approached the owner and asked if other dogs would be allowed.  (I knew her answer would be no, but I wanted to antagonize her.)  Of course, she said no, but she did give me a price list for the raw meat she also sold as a secondary source of income.  I left to tell Sean, but he had disappeared.

Next, I found myself in another Mexican restaurant.  Aryn and Jess were there.  The food was very good, but when we went to pay for our meal we realized that the entire staff had gone to bed.  We hollered up the stairs, and a couple came down to help us... wearing dressing robes and sleeping caps.  One of them gave Jess some throwing stars, and Jess had a hard time believing that throwing stars were a traditional Mexican weapon.  For some reason, I was adamant that they were.

Aryn and I decided we needed money.  Also, the little girl who played Rue in The Hunger Games was there too.  Our friend Lori told us to geocache for money.  She knew a spot in the middle of the city, but it was very hard to find and the conditions of the city were quite treacherous.  We went anyway.

The geocache spot was vague - we only knew that it was in a building that was sort of like a large, open storage warehouse.  The items stored inside were citizens' personal effects that they'd given to the city for safekeeping. The city was flooded, so we had to climb into the city using fire escapes and wading through murky, brownish red water. We finally made it into the warehouse, but didn't find the money.  It was very dark, damp and dusty inside, and we got the feeling that we weren't supposed to be there.  We all found neat items that belonged to other people though, so we grabbed them and attempted to walk out of the warehouse.  We were stopped by a man at a desk, who was scanning items to make sure whoever was taking them out of the warehouse was the actual owner.  Realizing we would be caught with our stolen items, we dropped what we were holding and ran away.

We ran through the first open door we could find, which happened to be the entrance of a junk store.  There was something very odd about the store though, because everyone in the store seemed to be hypnotized into thinking the junk for sale was valuable and amazing.  Aryn found an old AKC book and dreamily talked about how she'd been looking for that book for years, and needed to buy it.  Spike (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) had joined our group somewhere along the way, and was fascinated by a dusty wooden owl that hooted every time you'd spin its wings.  He'd spin the wings, the owl would hoot, and Spike would start laughing... and then spin the wings again.  Aryn and I started a conversation with another shopper who soon introduced herself as a Keeshond breeder and judge.

Then I woke up.  What... why.... I don't even know.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Laundry Detergent Update

I've had several people ask me for an update on the laundry detergent I made on Tuesday.  I'm happy to report that it gets clothes (and towels, and dog blankets) very clean.  I know it's still early, but currently I see no reason to go back to using store-bought detergent.

Here's what you need to buy.  I found everything at Walmart.

- one 1.3lb container of Oxi Clean
- one 4lb box of Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda
- one 4lb 12oz box of 20 Mule Team Borax
- one 3lb 7oz box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
- three 5.5oz bars of Fels-Naptha
- one container Purex Crystals or Downy Unstoppables (optional, but recommended)  * if you're looking for a nicer scent, try adding Scentsy Washer Whiffs instead!

Using a cheese grater, grate all three bars of Fels-Naptha.
(If you don't have a food processor, you will have to finely grate the Fels-Naptha.  If you do have a food processor, coarsely grate the Fels-Naptha, throw in a handful of baking soda, and stick it in the freezer for awhile.  Once it's nice and cold, run it through your food processor until it is finely granulated.

Mix all the ingredients together, and stir well.

You only need 1-2 tablespoons per load.  I use the scoop that came with the Oxi Clean, and it seems to be the perfect amount.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cleaning House

I was raised in a very clean home.

I used to keep my own home very clean.

Somewhere along the line, that changed.  It wasn't a conscious decision... but apparently a two hour round trip commute, a full time job, several pets and their activities, a medical emergency that landed me in the hospital, the emergence of an autoimmune disease, and a messy husband all came together and made my "acceptable level of household cleanliness" change.

I should probably go on record and say that my house is never filthy.  You never walk in and instantly want to leave.  But I will admit to corgi-hair tumbleweeds under the furniture and clutter on every flat surface.  And dust.  Oh lordy, the dust.

For some reason, my emotional well-being seems to be directly linked to the cleanliness of my home.  I don't know about you, but I like being happy.  I like my life to be as stress-free as possible.  This past weekend, I did a deep-clean of about 80% of the house, and have been steadily working on the other 20% over the past few days.

More importantly, I've been trying very hard to maintain the progress I've made. This is harder than you'd think - especially with a corgi, a puppy, and a naturally messy husband in the house.  But we're making it work.

On a somewhat related note, I'm going to attempt to make my own laundry detergent tonight.  The ingredients cost roughly $20, it's safe for high-efficiency washers, and is apparently a year-long supply for a family of four.

I'm also going to attempt to make my own hand soap, and research how to make my own all-purpose cleaner.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I say heyyy, who's goin' my way...

... on that great California Highway?  (Sorry Dan, if you don't want me to alter your lyrics, you should write a song about California.)

I've talked about my friend Jess before. Click her name... it'll take you to her hilarious blog. We've been friends since high school... which probably makes her my oldest friend (in terms of length of friendship) since I didn't really have friends in elementary or middle school.  At least, not any true friends I continued to hang out with after moving on to the next educational tier.  

Not to be overly sappy, but I think high school would have turned out a lot less awesome for me if Jess hadn't been my friend.  Anyway, here we are:

In August, Jess is moving to California... and I'm going with her.  It's still a bit surreal, because this is the last thing I ever thought I'd be doing this summer.  I was pretty much convinced that I would be staying home, working my butt off, and doing dog activities.  I'm still doing all of that, but now I'm also taking a week off from work and spending eight days on a cross-country road trip to the west coast.

I'm the psychotic planner-beast of this duo, so I've already started planning our route.  As of right now, we will be making the drive in three days:

Day 1: Prairie City IA to Cheyenne WY  |  9.5 hours, 648 miles
Day 2: Cheyenne WY to Elko NV  |  10 hours, 667 miles
Day 3: Elko NV to Alameda CA  |  7.5 hours, 505 miles

Day 4 will probably be spent recuperating from our grueling journey.  Day 5 through 7 will be spent in California... waiting for the moving folks to deliver all of Jess's stuff.  When we're not doing that, we'll be exploring and having fun.  Jess already said she will put up with my dog collar obsession - that means I get to visit the Paco Collar store!  Day 8 I will fly back to Des Moines, and hopefully I can find someone to pick me up from the airport and drive me home. (Hint hint... can someone pick me up?)

We're still working on an official name for our journey.  I'll post updates when I have them.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Most Expensive Dog

The smallest dog I own - Revy the Pembroke Welsh Corgi - is also the most expensive.  Most of her expenses revolve around her severe case of EPI, but today I discovered yet another reason why her official title is "The Most Expensive Dog in the World."

Revy has a harder time keeping her teeth nice and clean since she's on a softened kibble diet and doesn't get bones to chew. This morning, I had a sneaking suspicion that something was afoot.  Revy was acting normal, but something in the back of my mind told me to check her over to see if she was okay.

In her mouth, I discovered this:

Yeah... one doozy of a cracked tooth.  The smaller part actually wiggles.  It wasn't bleeding, but it was obvious that it was cracked all the way to the pulp.  I'm pretty sure it happened yesterday, when she ran outside and promptly face-planted into the side of the house at corgi-miles-per-hour.  She has a scrape on her forehead from the same incident.  I already knew what would need to happen, so I called the vet and scheduled an appoint to "check the tooth and, you know, schedule an extraction."  Those were my words.  The receptionist thought I was joking.

We got to the clinic and met with our vet.  She took a peek inside Revy's mouth to see the extent of the damage.  The vet and I had a mildly hilarious exchange:

Vet: "Luckily, this is fixable!  It's just a slab fracture."
Me: "No dude, look at it from this angle..."
Vet: ".... oh.  OH.  Yeah, that's not fixable."

On Monday, Revy goes in for an extraction and a bone graft... and I will be roughly $450 poorer.  Thanks Revy.  Thanks for being the Most Expensive Dog in the World.  Happy Birthday to me.... not.


Just a quick update before I spend three days immersed in the world of dog shows....

This past weekend, Poison got four back-to-back Best Puppy in Show wins.  Also, on Cinco de Mayo, Kaylee earned the final qualifying run towards her CAA (Coursing Ability Advanced) title.


This weekend I will be stewarding the Agility trial in Des Moines, and then heading out to Bettendorf IA for an AKC show.  We're basically just tagging along, since Aryn has her Scentsy booth at the show and is always in need of slave labor. (Heehee!)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hodgepodge 15.0

Holy cow, I haven't done a hodgepodge since January!  Tomorrow I will have some great news to share, but for now... here is some random stuff that'll keep you entertained.

Apparently I've started sleepwalking.  Before you ask, no - I'm not taking any medication to help me sleep.  Steve found me on the floor of the living room a few nights ago, fast asleep.  I'd apparently grabbed a few blankets and a pillow so the floor would be more comfortable. When Steve asked me why I was in the living room, I allegedly told him that I was "waiting for the van" and was "afraid I'd miss it if I was in bed."  

Maybe it's just another sign I'm losing my mind.  Tonight I decided to watch The Hobbit, but I couldn't get the Blu Ray player to work. I tried everything. After scrolling through menus and furious button-mashing of remotes, I was this close to calling Steve for help.  Then I realized.... I hadn't actually put the disc in the player.  Whoops.

Speaking of Steve... here's another SteveStory for you.
Last week, Steve and I decided to watch all the current Marvel universe movies to prepare ourselves for Iron Man 3. We got through Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man 2 without incident. Halfway through Thor, Steve turned to me and said, "So, the guy who plays Thor is very Vikingish. That got me thinking about True Blood, and the guy who plays Eric Northman is also very Vikingish. And I realized, if I was gay, I would totally be into Vikings."  Yes, my husband has officially admitted to having a mancrush on Chris Helmsworth and Alexander Skarsgard. I'm sorely tempted to find a large poster of a shirtless Alexander Skarsgard and putting it up in the Nerd Cave.  Partially as a joke, and partially... well, to look at.  Heehee.

On a completely unrelated note... we got 5" of snow on Friday, May 3rd.  Damn Nature, you scary!

Also, here are some geese.  (I took this photo at the lure coursing trial two weeks ago.)