Making Choices

I am trying to make different choices this year.

First I started with a lot less drinking and snacking. I am down 10 pounds and seem to be stabilizing there which is ok by me!

Next is to do more fun things with the dogs and less long trial days. This one is harder.

I start looking at the trials coming up and want to enter both days. Or enter two trials in a row. Because despite not enjoying the early mornings that much, I do enjoy the thrill of stepping to the line to tackle a new course. The accumulation of titles and seeing what kinds of times we can lay down. I don’t really enjoy having to cheerlead Twitch around the course though.

So I am trying to choose other activities for the summer. I am committing to two trials in July and August. Both USDAA and both outside. Otherwise I want to go camping and hiking. I want to go to new trails and get up early-ish on a weekend morning and go some place new at least twice in July and August.

May is already full though we could plan a hike on one weekend.

June I am currently planning one trial and one conformation show.

See? Not enough weekends for all the fun things!


I really enjoy camping. Especially the kind we do at Meghann’s parent’s place. They have this great little spot in the bend of a creek. It has a shelter with electricity, fridge, sink and a toulet up in the shop. They even have an outdoor shower!

Of course there is a fire pit too. One outside next to the shelter and a stone fireplace on the end of the shelter. The land used to be a girl scout lication and Meghann’s grandparents bought the place i  the 50’s. Her parents run a nursery up the hill from the campsite.

We get to bring the dogs and they love it! Free running all weekend except overnight when they sleep in the car. Last year they slept in our tent but it was pretty crowded. This year we just put them in the van. Much better for all around.

This year we walked down the creek a bit. That water is cold!! Twitch was not a fan of the water and tried to find ways around it if he could. He even climbed a log and crossed a downed tree to avoid the water. Then I had to lift him down. Lol. Vader didn’t mind the water but avoided the deep areas. I tried to get him to swim but he wouldn’t. I’ll keep trying! The dogs were already pretty tired on Saturday afternoon.

It’s not very often you see Vader lying down and actually sleeping! Mathew, Jason’s son, was there and he loves Vader. Vader is very tolerant of Mathew but at the time of the below picture, Mathew was in the creek and ignoring Vader.

Earlier in the day we were all sitting under the shelter and Vader kept getting on this bench to lay down. He even closed his eyes several times. 🙂

We hope to go again this year but we shall see. Lots of fun! Still wish our tent was a little bigger. 

Hawaii Day 5!

Tuesday May 3, 2016.

I can’t believe it’s been 5 days. 4 on the island but 5 since we left Oregon.

Today we booked a dolphin encounter and snorkel trip. This involved a small ,inflatable solid hull boat ride out into the ocean. We went out to where the spinner Dolphins were coming in shore to rest for the day and when they were spotted, we hopped in the water. They swam right by us and it was pretty darn cool! We did that 4 times. Hop out of the boat, try to swim towards the Dolphins, watch them swim by, then back into the boat. It was pretty neat to watch wild dolphins swim by and below.

Next we headed out into the bay and spotted some pilot whales. They were just chilling, floating along the top of the water.

One of them kept spy hopping, which is where they stick their heads out of the water and look at us.

Then we kept going down the coast to a protected bay for some snorkeling.  All in all a good day on the water!

Wlexcept that we got burned. Kris worse than me but both on our backs. And yes we had put on sunscreen, twice. Apparently it wasn’t enough. Ouch!

We came back to the hotel where I napped by the pool. Not sure what Kris did honestly.

After doing that for a couple hours, we got ready for a Luau over at the Marriott. They put on a pretty fancy show!

Now we are both tired and once again in bed early

Hawaii Day 3!

Sunday May 1, 2016.

The fun continues! I am not sure how we will top this today!

We got up early and hit the road to head to our helicopter tour. Yes a real helicopter! I have wanted to fly in one for a long time so I was totally psyched to go. The ride was amazing!! 


We flew between the two volcanoes over to the active crater on the east side of Hawaii.

The landscape on the West side is dry and barren. Going through the valley between the two volcanoes is covered in various colors of different lava flows. It was so fascinating to see that from the air. Really gives perspective on the enormity of it all.


We flew over the crater and got to see lava bubbling down below. It was so very cool!

After that we flew over Hilo and then up the East coast to view the cliffs and waterfalls on the coast. I took pictures with my DSLR and stole the ones below from Kris. It was so beautiful!


Kris and I with our pilot.

After the helicopter ride we drove north to the end of the north running road. We hiked down the trail to a black sand beach. The views were amazing!

I built a couple rock piles for fun and we cracked open a coconut.

We were planning to hit another beach but it was 2 o’clock and I felt beat up from the early morning, the heat and the hike down 1500 feet. So we headed back to the hotel.

However along the way I happened to see this amazing thing by chance as we were driving along. I told Kris to turn around. Turns out it was an amazing lava tube!

Lava flows are pretty interesting. This particular one had lots of gas in the lava as the rock is very holey. It is also very brittle. The colors in some of the rock was intense! 

I am thoroughly enjoying our trip here!

We did finally return to the hotel where we swam for a bit, had dinner, then sat in the hot tub for a bit. Fun day!


New Year, New Adventures!

It is now 2016. 2015 brought a lot of sadness but a lot of other things as well. Heck the last five years have been tough! We lost the original four and I still cry for them and will for a while I’m sure. 

Looking back on this past year we lost Kota in January. I didn’t expect him to make it to 2015 when we found out in December 2014 that he had cancer. He fought that demon for 13 months.

We lost Shadow in early August. She had been fighting a mass in her abdomen and repeated episodes of bloat. She lived a long life of 17 years.

We got Twitch in October 2013, a few months after we lost Tasha. He was my new heart. To help me with Kota’s passing. He took that job very seriously and has done great. We have accomplished so much in the two years he has lived with us. He is in Level 4 CPE and Performance 2 in everything but Snooker which he is in Performance 3!  He has learned over 30 cues and is such a fun little dog to train with.


Then we brought on Vader. The Icelandic Sheepdog puppy. He has been fun and frustrating. Right now my big peeve is that I haven’t gotten more than 6 hours of sleep in a row since November when we got him! I knew this going in and hopefully by the end of January he will be able to sleep overnight for longer. He is picking up tricks and behaviors and I think a name, finally. Derp Vader. I will call him Vader and Kris will call him Derp. 

Let’s see what else?  I got a promotion at work. Kris and I ran a 1/2 marathon together. Kris became an uncle on his side in November. We kayaked, hiked and snowshoed. We kept very busy this year and hope to keep doing things we find fun in 2016.

What will 2016 bring? I am hoping a new house for us. We are currently looking for the right place. We are picky so it could take some time.

We plan to go to Hawaii (or Ireland) and I’m looking forward to either trip. 

Other than that no definite plans other than trial more and train with my pups!

Happy New Year!