Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Pioneering Spirit - or Something Like It

Years ago in college, one of my professors gave a writing assignment that was to be our reading autobiography of our lives. I LOVED this project, and it's one of the few papers I wish I had kept from my college years. Now that my nephew is beginning to discover literature and reading, I find myself reveling in all of the childhood memories of me in our living room with a favorite novel. Summers were spent discovering new worlds in books!

In elementary school, I remember being entranced by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House on the Prairie books. Stories of our forefathers intrigued me completely, and I got to further imagine what pioneer life was like when we'd visit my family's cabin in the Davis Mountains of West Texas.

The fact that we actually have running water and a gas stove in the cabin (not to mention a suburban we used to get up the mountain, a toilet and a shower) was irrelevant - it was closer to pioneering than life in the city was for me! ;)  Hey, I had a great imagination. lol

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Reading Season has begun! :)

So, I got a Kindle the other day and have been LOVING it! I've uploaded about 20 books on it so far - all of them free. I'm having fun rediscovering old favorites: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which reminds me of spending summers on the couch reading!), Jane Eyre, Emma, Wuthering Heights. :) Reminds me of high school and college assignments - all of which I loved. Well, that explains the English degree, right? lol

At least I get it honestly - those books inside on the shelf? ALL of them my mom's cookbooks. ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Holidays, and Catching Up

Howdy! Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season - I always love the festive nature of this time of year. :)
Just wanted to add a few pics of my journey with Burke over the last few months since we arrived in Austin. :)

Yep, ------->
is the closest we will get to fall foliage in Austin this year, so had to snap a pic while I could. ;)

A picture of Mr Burke back in July sporting his booties on a hot summer day. Hot pavement + dog paws = booties. He disagrees however, and will only humor me for about an hour with them on. ;)

Burke and I have become quite the team in the months since we've been home. He's become such a focused, calm dog and I couldn't be happier. I'm still marveling at how calm he is - I was NOT expecting THAT from a lab. How lucky I am! He's got such a wonderful 'on/off' switch - he'll gladly lay around the house when I've got work to do all day, but he'll also gladly get up and go when I've got things to do around town, etc. So unflappable! All the traits of a GREAT guide dog. :)

Burke's other job - modeling my knitting projects. I couldn't help it. The scarf looks GREAT against his black fur, don't you think? Don't worry, his manhood is still intact. No permanent damage done to his psyche. He really enjoyed the treat afterward. :)

Burke and I met a new little friend - a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Jimi. He's as CUTE as a button, and the perfect opportunity for Mr Burke to practice his manners. Actually, he did really well meeting a little guy like Jimi - the pup was scared of the BIG HUGE dog. Now however, they can calmly coexist without either of them going spaztastical. ;) Provided the tiny pup toys are put away when Burke and I visit. No choking hazards for the big dog! :)

I had the chance to take Burke to the beach this year!! I had been wanting to, knowing what a water dog he seemed to be. He LOVED it - a chance to jump in the waves, run in the sand. . . .ah the life! :) And of course, the chance to watch the seagulls. Sure wish I had thought to bring something to feed them! Ah well. . . .there's always a next time, right?

And finally - Ms Sadie and Burke - after a fun romp outside at my parents' house over Thanksgiving. They have so much fun together. Sadie is more of a 'people' dog, doesn't really care about other dogs. But I think she enjoys playing with them every now and then. And. . . .the glass on the door? Nose prints. ;) On both the inside and outside - from curious dogs looking out at squirrels, birds, deer. And of course us, because we MIGHT be doing something fun that they are missing out on. lol

Christmas photos to be coming in the next blog post - when I have a chance to take some! I have an outing planned next weekend and then of course whatever our plans are for Christmas. Can't wait - maybe Burke will let me try a Santa hat on him. ;)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Finished my first week of training! Some observations

Wow, what a busy and wonderful week it's been since I got here to New York! It was complete with meeting lots of people I hope to keep in contact with and of course, the best of all, meeting my new four-legged buddy, Burke. Every day he and I become more and more of a great team where now he looks to me for direction instead of the trainers. He's so adorable - those eyes when he hands me a toy to throw. . . .melt! :)

Apparently this little boy has a thing for tennis balls and the cuz. Throw that for him, and he's your friend for life. Burke will fetch tennis balls long after you are exhausted from throwing - I don't think there's a limit.

I'm thinking Master Burke may have had a girlfriend in the kennel where he stayed before he came to me - Rhythm is the ONLY dog he will get up out of a down/stay to say hello. No other dog, male or female, will he do that. It's so sweet, but at the same time sad, since after the 23rd when Rhythm and her mom go home, we won't see them again most likely. He'll have to find himself another girlfriend in Austin, I suppose. ;)

I'm hoping to find out more about his background, who raised this sweet dog. Hopefully the puppy raisers will be willing to keep in touch with me, because I would love to keep them up to date as to how their sweet boy is doing. :)

Lastly, I can NOT wait to get Burke home and start working with him in our neighborhood, etc. There's nothing like being in a familiar environment to relieve stress. I'm in HIS home area, but I'd like to be in MY home area for a change. We're doing really well though, in a few short days we'll be on our way back to the Lone Star State and we'll be settling in just fine. I can't wait to show him off to my friends and family - that will be so much fun!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Just a quick update for you

I got to NY yesterday and have been on the go ever since!!! We immediately had a lecture on some of the equipment we would be using (harness, training collar, leash) and were handed our new leashes. Tomorrow we'll be getting our dog in the afternoon sometime - I'm so excited!! This morning I went on a walk with a trainer holding the harness in their hand so that they can gauge my pace, tension, the amount of correction I will apply Plus it was essentially a '20 questions' type thing - they want to know all about the city I live in, where I will be travelling, what I will be doing with the dog.

There is so much information given to me, I feel like I'm on information overload! I know it will become second nature to me, but for the moment, it is almost overwhelming. Ah well - I REALLY enjoy it here, and love the people I'm working with, and the other students as well. So. . .I am going to be running along now to our next activity - I believe another lecture, with yet more info on dog care. :) Until next time. . . .

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Almost Ready!

In a few days I will start my journey to NY for my first guide dog! I'll be adding entries and photos to my blog as often as I can, just to journal my experiences along the way - through meeting my new dog, my training, and the outings the dog and I will share together. I'm so excited, I can hardly wait! Plus, I don't get to travel out of state much, so this will be a fun treat. :)

With that in mind, I'm looking forward to seeing what NY is like in the spring - what flowers may be blooming, any different plants, flowers, trees than what we have here in Texas. Hopefully you can help me identify them! ;) Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Back at it again!

Wow, it's been THAT long since I last blogged? Guess the last few months got away from me! LOTS of things have happened since my last post, all good stuff.
To begin:
  • I'm getting a guide dog next month! A month from tomorrow (or thereabouts) I leave for New York to attend Guiding Eyes for the Blind for about 3.5 weeks of intense training with my new pair of eyes. I am beyond excited, and am planning on blogging about the entire experience. I mean to do more photo-blogging, so am taking my camera with me. I've never been to that part of the country, so the whole thing will be an adventure! :)
  • For transportation and some practical reasons, Ms Sadie-dog has a new home with my parents out in the country now, and is apparently loving it. She's currently hard at work training them in how to live with a furry dog who sheds enough fur for another whole puppy. lol
  • Currently, I am working as a tech writer/web marketer for a friend's business - that has kept me busy lately, but I'm so glad it's working out in terms of being gone in NY for a month. My friend is a Guiding Eyes graduate, so knows the routine there, but how lucky am I that this job fell into my lap basically, and will truly fit in with my plans for the next few months!! :)
In addition to all that, I'm loving this spring weather! I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter - not sure what I'm doing other than cooking something good and possibly yummy for dessert. Lemon chiffon again perhaps? ;)