Monday, June 29, 2009

As Promised: Pictures of the Beach

Hans enjoying a good book on the back balcony. This was quite a relaxing place to be.
When you got tired of reading, you could look out and see the view of the canal.
Or you could just watch Cody watching the water.

He eventually stopped looking at the water and actually took a dip.
And the family was 2 houses down. But wait!! Where's the youngest?

There she is!!! Obviously she's up to no good.

Hans snapped a quick pic of me on the way into a restaraunt.

I hope the pictures make it look as fun as it was. I enjoyed it anyway.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Have you ever been so tired that you don't think you'll ever move again? That's how I feel. Mom and I just spent all morning moving. Moving to a third floor apartment in this heat is a lot like trying to move an elephant with your bare hands. It just shouldn't be attempted.

That being said, not only did we attempt it, but we did it. That being said, we're not totally moved. Hans and I will probably work on a few more things tonight, and then Hans and the boys are moving all the really heavy furniture tomorrow. Thank God I don't have to move the piano.

Really, I think Mom and I made great time. We got started just after 10:00 am and finished just after 1:00 pm. I'd say that's not too bad at all

I have to admit I'm still kind of nervous about moving to a new place, and I go through bouts of panic. One moment I'm freaking out because I'm afraid we won't be able to make the rent, we'll go through our savings, and eventually have to live on the street. The next moment, however, I'm reminding myself that the business is doing well and it should only go up from here. As long as it does well Hans and I will be fine, and I have every faith in the world it will do wonderfully.

That being said, though, wish me luck!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Great Weekend

Sorry it's been so long since my last post! The fact of the matter is that I did not have internet, and then I didn't have time.

This weekend Hans and I went to the beach. His family inherited a beach house not too long ago and so we decided to check it out for the first time and stay for a weekend. This trip was much needed since neither Hans nor I had had a real break since January. My only regret was that it wasn't long enough.

The beach house is on Topsail Island in NC. It was my first time there, and I have to say I really like it. Unlike other beaches I typically go to (VA Beach, Outer Banks, etc.) this beach was NOT crowded. In fact, there were surprisingly few people. We actually had space to spread out a bit and could really enjoy the water without running into anyone. Plus, if we decided that we didn't want to go to the beach, we could always go swimming in the canal that the house was on. I suppose I should mention that the house was not ocean-front, but rather canal-front. That's definitely better in my book.

Anyway, there were two things I enjoyed most about my trip. Number one was Cody. Yes, Cody came with. It was his second time at the beach and he was hilarious. I'd figured that he'd want to splash and run from the waves. I was right on the splashing, but instead of running from the waves, he thoroughly enjoyed running into them. I couldn't stop laughing as he'd run into the water, jump over a wave, swim back to shore, and then start the process all over. Yes, he's still a tired puppy.

The next thing I really enjoyed was Hans' family. He (I guess "we" is appropriate too) has some cousins who live in OH. They used to live in VA, but around the time that Hans and I moved back down here, they moved up north. Go figure! Anyway, they showed up Sunday night at a beach house that his great aunt and great uncle own, and they were only 2 houses down. It was wonderful seeing them. We even got to go out on their boat (very briefly). We swam in the canal with them and really cracked up as we watch Cody attempt to jump in the water and swim around. They said they may be planning a trip in August, so maybe we can plan a trip around the same time. I'd love to see them again.

Other than that, things have just been crazy. Cody was promoted to Level 2 in agility (YAY!), the business has been going really well, and the move is pretty hectic. Hans and I move tomorrow, which leaves me wondering why I'm posting instead of packing! All in all, even with as busy as it's been, it's also been wonderful.

Oh, and as far as pictures are concerned, I hope to post some soon. I only have two problems. 1) Hans has the camera today. 2) He took most of the pictures and almost all of them are of Cody! Oh well, Cody's cute!

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Friend

I want to introduce you all to Brady (at least that's what I'm calling him). Brady is a beautiful black lab that I found on Wednesday about 4 miles from my house. He ran right out in front of my car. Hans and I are posting found signs in the area, but until then, Cody and he are having a blast. Oh, and I'm enjoying training him. He has absolutely NO obedience, but he's used to the crate, so that's helpful. That being said, he really like hotdogs so training is starting out fairly well. I figure that if I haven't heard anything in a week or two, I'll start looking for a new home. Anyone want a young black lab? Fully trained (eventually)! Anyway, here's Brady!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Clean Bill of Health

Not for me (although I hope I'd have one too), but for Cody. Cody and I just got back from the vet and he's a healthy boy.

It's funny how much I worry about him. I've been told (and noticed for myself) that dog people can be a bit crazy, but I always try to keep my crazy under control. When it comes to Cody, however, I seem to become that weird, overbearing, somewhat psychotic freak. I'm constantly having to tell myself that it's not a big emergency. It doesn't help that, since I work in the dog field, it's my job to know all the big emergencies. Plus, people tell me all their little ones. A typical conversion in my house might go as follows:

Hans: Cody didn't eat today.
Me: What? Do you think he's sick?
Hans: No. I was just commenting.
Me: Has he been vomiting? Does he look a little tired to you? I should check his temperature.
Hans: Of course he's tired. We just came back from a run. I'm tired too.
Me: I should check his temperature anyway. Oh GEEZE! Feel his arm pit. Does that feel warm to you? I'm getting the thermometer.

It's at this point that Hans will calm me down and remind me (again) that Cody just had a lot of exercise, so he's bound to be hot, and that he's probably had the equivalent of 3 meals with all the leftovers he had. I then decide to pass on the thermometer, but I still sit there worrying about him all night, listening for any changes in breathing or anything else abnormal.

Anyway, I'm quite happy to hear that Cody is a happy, healthy boy. His weight is good, his diet is good. His eyes need to be flushed out a bit, but other than that he's good. Thank God! Now I can rest another night. I don't need to worry again until tomorrow! :P

Friday, June 12, 2009


Ah, what a good day. Most of today just seemed to be about relaxation. I mean, there was one part in particular, but today was just an all around good day.

I started today off with lesson. The lesson sent me a little ways into the countryside, and the drive was just so peaceful. Plus, the lesson went really well too. That whole experience was just down right fantastic.

When I was done, I met Jess for lunch, and then came the real treat. Jess is studying to be a massage therapist, and today I had the pleasure of being her first client. If I hadn't already known I was her first, I never would have guessed it. She was so good I fell asleep. I hope she enjoys massaging as much as I enjoyed getting the massage. Probably not, huh.

In a rush to end the day, I had Starbucks with Mom, had my last lesson for the day (it went better than I expected), and then Hans and I had dinner with Mom. Everything went really well.

But, back to Jess enjoying massaging. I can't say how much Jess really enjoys the job. I'm sure she loves it, I just don't know to what degree. I also think she enjoys it much more than I would, so that's really good. I can say that I think she's freakin awesome at it, and I'm sure she'll do well with whatever she chooses to use it for. I know I've mentioned it before, but having a job you enjoy is so important. I can't believe how many dead-end, odd jobs I held before I got into dog training. In reality, it really wasn't that many (I'm not that old), but it's more than I'd have liked to have held. Some people can stay in some boring old job for years, and they just figure that's the way life is. I'm not that person.

One of the reason I held off on going to dog training school for so long was because I was afraid I wouldn't enjoy it. As I mentioned in my very first post, I'd been a music major in college. I'd loved music going into school. I couldn't stand it coming out. I do have my degree in music, but the only thing I use it for is to sing to the radio (and critique other singers). I have some knowledge as to how the voice works, but past that I'm kind of lost. So, I kept wondering, what if that happened with dogs too?

I grew up loving dogs. I've always loved dogs. In reality, I probably understand them better than people. That's what happens when you're an only child with 5 dogs. They're my brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts. Cody is my son. I've cleaned up his messes and I stay up with him when he's sick. So, I kept wondering if there was anything that could happen that would make my passion for dogs dwindle the same as my passion for music had.

I found my answer. The answer is apparently no. Learning more about them, studying them, spending time with them. All this makes me love the all the more. I'm so happy with my career choice. I'm thrilled that I was able to start my own business (and set my own hours). I love every single dog I work with. My fear is that one of my clients will, for some reason, have to rehome his/her dog. I don't know what I'd do. I'm pretty sure I'd end up with another child in that situation. And that's why I do what I do. Sure, I love the dogs and I can't imagine doing anything else. But my real job is to keep owner and dog together in a happy, loving relationship. If this job were about the money, I wouldn't do it. It's about the love and care that these creatures I love so much receive. I need to be there to make sure they receive it.

Those of you who have heard the translation of my full name will get this. Those who haven't can just be amused. I am Strong Bone. Defender of Dogs!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vacations and Food

Why is it that vacations seem to mean that you can eat whatever you want, when you want? It seems that even people who haven't touched something as wonderful as chocolate in years, as soon as their feet hit past airport security will say, "I can have that double chocolate fudge, triple-layer cookie. I'm on vacation!" Rules are thrown out the windows, and diets are lost forever (well, at least for a week).

I think I'm one of the worst offenders of this rule too. Not only do I say, "I'm on vacation, bring on the food" I'll also say, "I'm going on vacation next week, it's ok if I eat more now." It's like I have to prep my stomach for the exorbitant amounts of food (sugar) I'm about to eat, so I'm then able to eat more. Then, when I return home, I'm left feeling super hungry all the time as my stomach slowly shrinks to slightly better proportions, and I suffer from regular sugar crashes. I end up having to wean myself off sugar slowly just so I don't end up with migraine headaches. Actually, if I could just have a couple of days in bed, I'd probably be fine. Except, then, of course, while my sugar problem would be helped, the exercise wouldn't be.

Oh, and what's the best part of a graduation? I mean, other than seeing someone you love complete a difficult task? THE CAKE!!! What better way to celebrate 12 years of accomplishments than to gorge yourself on icing and pastry? Yes, there was lots of cake to be had by all, but especially by me.

Now, here I am, trying to take responsibility for my actions, and desperately trying to undo what was done. Really, the pants are supposed to be loose fitting! So, what's my motivation for cleaning this week? You can burn over 100 calories just by mopping the floor. What's my motivation for cooking this week? I can control what I eat and the amount of it. What's my motivation for doing yard work this week? Actually, that one has nothing to do with weight and more to do with the fact that our yard is atrocious and Hans is working every night this week. The boy could use a little help now and then.

Anyway, this is a bit of a plea for all those who may vacation with me in the future. By all means, let me have my cake. What's the point in vacation if you can't enjoy the good food around you? Just make me get off my lazy arse every now and then too. If I'm going to eat, I should also work it off!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Still Recuperating And Other News

All I can say is I'm still exhausted. Taking a trip, no matter how fun it is, can be an exhausting experience. There's the whole packing and unpacking thing, checking luggage, getting through security, actually flying, and then carrying on with regular life. And regular life has been hectic. I took Monday off so I could have a day of rest after the trip, but I ended up spending most of that day running errands. Since then, life has been crazy, but definitely in a good way.

First off, let me say that business has been great this week. This week alone made up for all of May. I can only hope that it continues to go this well. People are definitely starting to spread my name around. One lady who signed up had heard about me through some other person I'd never met. That's fantastic!! I'm still working on getting my name out there, but I'm getting more and more calls each week, which is only a good thing.

Second, and this is a big one, Hans and I are moving. We're not moving far, just 6 miles down the road, but we are moving. Dad invited his girlfriend to move in here, and Hans and I just decided that it might be too crowded. I started looking at apartments online last week, I toured one on Monday, and we'll be moving in July 1st. I'm going to start packing as soon as possible. There are plenty of things we can do without for the next 3 weeks, and I'd rather have a slow, steady packing process than one big cluster-f*** at the end. That being said, who wants to help us move?? Free pizza and beer! Am I concerned about the costs? Of course. But I'm also looking forward to the free pool and gym and the community feel.

That's pretty much all the big news for now. Cody and I are taking an agility course tonight. He hasn't done that in awhile, so I hope he does ok. I want him to be the most awesome dog. Wait, he IS the most awesome dog!!!!

Here's to the future!

Monday, June 8, 2009

There's No Place Like Home. There's No Place Like Home!!

Yes, I am home. My goodness it feels good to be here. And, of course, as nice as it is to sleep in my own bed, it's even better to have Cody sleeping at my feet.

This weekend was definitely an experience I'll never forget. Apparently, high school graduations are HUGE in Peterville. I mean they're like a wedding, graduation, and baby shower all combined. At least that's what it felt like to me. Then again, I suppose I'm used to very small events. My idea of a great time is a group of 5-10 friends sitting around the table, enjoying a good meal, and maybe ending the night with a board game or good chat. This was not that at all. This was 200+ people at a giant party. Although, after people left, a few of us sat around chatting. That was fun.

Anyway, I'm home now, and I'm happy. Oh, and I'm TIRED! I think it's time for a nap!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Graduation Day

Yesterday was a very pleasant, relaxing day...for the most part. Actually, I think what made it so relaxing was that I'd gotten about 10 hours of sleep and just felt amazing. Wednesday I was cranky and tired, but yesterday nothing could get me down.

Anyway, while I was in a good mood yesterday, I was able to get a lot of work done. I did lots of research on area businesses, I spoke to a few new clients, and I even ironed some clothes for Betsy (my MIL). Then, Hans and I went into Mankato to get a gift for Emily (something simple, yet useful). On the way there, we got a little side-tracked.

This is where I ask you all to visit This is a new pet resort in town, and it is exactly what I want to build with my business. I could maybe go a little smaller, though. They have over 100 kennels, and I'm looking to only have about 40. That being said, they are still quite impressive. I can only begin to hope that my business will eventually amount to that, but I know my dreams are big. The owner of The Paw also owns the Pet Expo, a local pet store, and a hotel in Florida. He obviously has some big bucks to put up. Like I said, though, I can dream. We were able to get some pretty neat toys for Cody, though. I'm pretty sure he'll enjoy them. I can't wait to get back home and watch him play!

When we got back, Chris and Liz were here with Edward. He's such a cute kid. Hans is scared I'll catch the baby virus, but I can tell you right now that, as much as I love their kid, the thing I love most is being able to give him back. Yes, I eventually want kids of my own. I just don't want them yet. Anyway, I definitely had some quality time with Edward and was able to hold him quite a bit. This is also where I wonder if Mama Liz was grateful to have someone else hold him, or if she just wanted the fuss to be over. I could see it going either way, and I'd definitely understand either way. I'm sure I'll be the one saying, "Back away from my baby! He wants to be held by his MOM!" Actually, I'm like that with Cody, so I KNOW I'll be like that with a human child.

Well, after dinner we went to Emily's graduation. It was actually quite nice. I was very much reminded of my own graduation, not so much because they were similar, but rather because they were so different. Graduation in Peterville is much more of an occassion than it is in VA...well at least in my family. After the graduation there's a party that, to me at least, sounds like after-prom. Saturday there are more parties. Hans' family has been preparing for weeks, and these last few days have obviously been hectic. My friends and graduated, went to Bottoms Up (best pizza ever), got a few cards with money in them (one person gave me towels) and that was it. By the following day, it was all over and I was preparing for college. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't confused by all the hoop-la. I don't get it. That being said, I am proud of Emily, and I'm happy for my MIL and FIL, because I'm sure their happy to have finished going through this.

Anyway, I suppose I'll have to keep you updated on these next few days. Today is a day of preparation, tomorrow is a party. Sunday, something's happening at the church, and then we go home. It looks to be a busy week. Let's see how it goes!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Journey of a Dog Trainer...To Minnesota

Yes, I'm here in Minnesota. Hans and I flew up this morning for his sister, Emily's graduation. Her baccalaureate was today, her graduation is tomorrow, she has a recital and graduation party on Saturday, and there's an event at the church on Sunday. Needless to say, it's going to be a busy week.

It has been really nice being able to see everyone so far. Of course, we've seen Hans' family (Betsy, Garrett, and Emily), but we were also lucky enough to be able to see baby Edward, Hans' brother, Chris, and his grandmother, Gan. We will get to see Liz and her parents tomorrow, and Hans' aunt, Melissa will be here on Friday.

I know this may sound sad, but as nice as it is to be here, I MISS CODY!!!!! Cody is safe and happy with his grandmother and friends, but apparently he has just been sitting by the window, waiting for us to come home. Plus, since Cody was shaved he's been sleeping at our feet to keep warm. Now I'm worried that he won't be able to sleep because he's cold. And I may not be able to sleep because he 's not there! Actually, I'll probably sleep like a baby. I was up early!

I suppose I'll have to post more updates later as more happens. Right now, I have to spend time with family.

Monday, June 1, 2009

More Mulberry Fun and Mouse Updates

Wow, it's weird. I feel as though I've been on the go all week, yet I also feel as though there is nothing to talk about. In reality, there's plenty to talk about, I'm just not sure if now is the time to post it on the blog. Oh well, most of you know all about my life anyway.

First, let's give another update on mice. After catching a third mouse, Hans and I have not caught any, nor have we seen any signs of any others. So, yesterday we took the day and cleaned the kitchen. Everything came out of cabinets and drawers and was either washed by hand or thrown in the dishwasher. Then we disinfected all the cabinets, put new liners in, and put everything back. It was actually a really good thing to do. We ended up rearranging some things and finding some room we didn't realize we had. Well, I guess there really wasn't any extra room, but things are better organized and easier to get to.

Then, yes, there was more mulberry fun. Cody did not end up looking like he was shot this time, but my hands looked like they were covered in blood. Yesterday evening, Hans and I picked 8 cups of mulberries, destemmed them, and then proceeded to make jam. This was our first time making jam, and I'm amazed at how good it turned out. We had biscuits and jam for breakfast this morning, and I don't think I've ever tasted anything so good. Maybe it was so sweet because I knew I had made it. Maybe we added too much sugar (the recipe calls for 7 cups!). Actually, I think the biggest thing was that it was something I'd never had before. It's not like you can find mulberry jam in the grocery store. I still have some left over, and I think I'll make some cobbler with that again. I'm debating making the jam again too. It would be nice to have some on stock for the year.

Really, though, I've learned that canning isn't difficult and can be quite fun. I'm thinking that once tomatoes come in, I'll can some sauce. Any tips for canning other veggies such as cucumbers, squash, onions, or green beans? What about garlic? I'll appreciate any tips I can get!