Thursday, February 9, 2012

More questions answered, and no brain explosions....

Yep, it's that time of the week again!

1. Robin wants to know what your ideal number of dogs is?

Fewer than I have. Probably five or six, maybe seven. But then again I'm not the type of person who can pass a dog along, so my numbers tend to grow, especially at the geriatric end of things. It was the same way when all I had was cats. I'd have an ideal number, one would pass, and two or three more would come along to fill the void. I expect that in the next two or three years I will be down by three, and then my numbers will be more manageable. Well, unless some perfect pup comes along in the meantime.... Still seven is what fits most easily in the van.

2. Lora wants to know if you find that your dogs are better or worse after time off from training?

In general, I'd say better, especially for the trained dogs. Of course some sloppiness can sometimes creep in, but since I don't like drilling, I think we're all happier with time off. I know the sheep are.

3. What is your favorite power tool? What power tool do you wish you had?

I have just one power tool, a cordless drill, and I have that only because I lost my lovely old yankee drill. If I had more than one I might have a favorite. I'm not really acquisitive of power tools, but if there was one thing I thought might be really useful (potentially), it would be a sawzall. Don't even ask why. You don't want to know.

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was really little, like 5 or 6, I wanted to be a jockey. But at that age I was small and fearless. Once I was a little older, I wanted to be a vet, specifically an equine vet and more specifically perhaps a racetrack vet, and in fact followed that dream all the way through college (hence the dual major in biology and chemistry) and into the obligatory work situation with a vet. Then my health interfered with that plan and it was by sheer luck I suppose that I ended up as a science writer. I still regret not taking the chance and going ahead to vet school anyway, but the career change did lead me in some very interesting directions and allowed me to travel to places I'd never have managed to see otherwise. But occasionally I still ponder the "what ifs."

5. How many of your friends are not "dog people"?

I don't really know, probably most of them are, to one degree or another. Or if not dog people, then certainly horse, cat, or other animal people. In other words, most of my friends are animal lovers, even those who became my friends for other reasons (school, neighbors, etc.).

Well, that was an easy one!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Why are Thursdays the Only Time I Post?

Because Laura over at Crooks and Crazies inspires me to.

So this week's line up:
1. Julie would like to know one frugal tip this week.
Even though I want to hear others' ideas, I guess I can post a frugal tip of my own. Except my brain has gone blank and I can't really think of anything. I feel like I'm already living as cheaply as I can, but I'm sure I could cut more if I worked at it.

One thing: I use the crock pot a lot. If veggies and things are getting past their prime in the fridge, then into soup they go! If they've gotten far enough along to where even I can stand the idea of making them into soup, they go to the chickens, who are always very appreciative.

2. What are you reading this week?

Well, I just got back from the library--had to go out to pay the rent and decided to return the books I had finished and get some more. I came home with eight (yes, eight!) books. Do I really think I can read all of them in three weeks? No, but books are like crack for me (I should amend that to say that I don't really know what crack is like, but I imagine my addiction to books is like any other addiction) and so I always come home with more than I can read in the allotted time.

I think I will start with a nonfiction book (I got two of them): The Eighty Dollar Champion, by Elizabeth Letts. It's the story of Snowman, a plowhorse turned show jumper. I recently read Renegade Champion: The Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada, by Col. Richard Rust, which was a lovely story recommended to me by my friend Kay, since a good part of the story takes place in Virginia horse country (Leesburg area). We were talking about it because one vignette in the story takes place on Shelburne Glebe (for those of you who know of it). And of course Skyrocket: The Story of a Little Bay Horse, by Margaret Cabell Self (illus. by Sam Savitt) was one of my childhood favorites (it took me forever to find a copy for my library), so I expect I am going to enjoy Eighty Dollar Champion. In fact, I'd like to crack it open and start reading right now, but I have to earn some money so reading for fun will have to wait.....

Sister, are you reading this? Do you have my copy of the Fitzrada book (either of you)?

I intend to restart my informal book reviews that I used to post on this blog, so you can see what else I'm reading (or have recently read) here sometime soon.

Oh, and for any of you who enjoy Jane Austen or Jane Austen-inspired books, I read one recently that was very entertaining, called Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, by Karen Doornebos. I couldn't put it down, and I was actually laughing out loud at parts of it. It reminded me in some ways of one of my other favorite laugh-out-loud books: Bridget Jones' Diary. Anyway, it was a rainy weekend when I started Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, and I found that a good excuse to park myself in front of the fire and just read. It's the story of a midwestern single mom whose business is failing and whose life seems a bit bleak. She's also a huge Jane Austen fan, so when the chance comes to audition for and later particpate in a documentary set in England during the Regency period, she jumps at the chance. When she gets to England, she is surprised to find herself in a reality dating show, set in the Regency period, where she must compete with women younger and more accomplished than she for the handsome and wealthy Mr. Wrightman's hand. Although I figured out the plot twist pretty early (and you likely will too), it's still a really fun read and was just what I needed on a dreary weekend.

Well, that got a little long. I guess we all know that books are one of my great passions. I don't want to know what that says about me.

3. Barbara wants to know: do you hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, and if so how many times?

In my new unemployed, um, freelance life, I don't have need of an alarm clock. In fact I don't really ever need one. Jill is my alarm clock--she starts getting antsy, whining and breathing/panting really loud around 6 a.m. (no matter how late we go to bed--2 a.m. to bed? Well we're still up at 6!). There's no hitting the snooze on that.

4. If you had to travel in a sedan (or if you already drive a sedan type car) and you had five or six dogs, how would you handle it?

When I had my Honda Civic, this is what I did. Dogs in seats; dogs in the floorboards. Dogs everywhere. I was not terribly comfortable with that arrangement, but you do what you gotta do. I eventually traded the Civic on my old Astrovan. Seriously though, I think I'd try to put a few crates across the seat and figure out a way to strap them in. Maybe a dog in a seatbelt thingy on the outsides (crates in the middle, dogs with seatbelts by the doors). The small dog would go in a little tiny crate in the front floorboards. If this is just a temporary thing and you won't be doing a whole lot of traveling this way, I'd probably use a crate for those who most needed it (puppy and Zippy?) and let everyone else ride loose, with folding crates in the trunk for use at the destination. Not ideal, but you're just trying to work something out for the short term (for now anyway).

5. How much do you filter what you put on your own blog?

A great deal. If I didn't filter, people would think I'm exceedingly strange, to put it nicely. Even my bestest friends would probably start giving me a wide berth. So best to filter. The dark, crazy stuff I would just keep in a private journal for my eyes only. See, I really want to filter this, but I won't, for once.